The Japanese national government is preparing to issue a state of emergency in an additional four prefectures, including Fukuoka, as early as the evening of Jan. 13. The government is expected to request residents and businesses in these prefectures to follow a similar direction as in Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa. (*Changes to the plans may be introduced before the official announcement on the evening of Jan. 13)
Period of the State of Emergency: Jan. 13 ~ Feb. 7
Concept Behind the Statement
To implement reinforced prevention measures to situations with high risks of spreading the new coronavirus infections without halting social activities entirely.
People are asked to refrain from going outside unnecessarily, especially after 8 p.m. Essential activities such as commuting, taking treatments at hospitals, walking, and jogging are omitted.
Organizers of events are requested to follow provided guidelines, including limitations on the number of people attending events, eating, and drinking activities.
Use of Facilities
According to experts’ reports, the risk of infection is high in settings that involve eating and drinking. Restaurants and bars, and karaoke parlors are requested to introduce shorter business hours and close at 20:00. Those businesses are also asked to serve alcoholic beverages only between 11:00 ~ 19:00. (*The government may provide additional subsidies for cooperating businesses.) Amusement facilities and large-scale stores are requested to close at 19:00 and follow guidelines regarding the number of visitors and so on.
To reduce the overall volume of human interaction, companies are requested to introduce teleworking, rotating shifts, earlier and later commuting schedules, etc. Workers are also asked to avoid working after 20:00 unless it is essential to maintain their business.
Jan. 12, Fukuoka Prefecture recorded 199 new cases of the new coronavirus infections (cumulative total: 11,757) and three more deaths linked to the disease.
Sources: NHK: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20210113/k10012811201000.html, Cabinet website: https://corona.go.jp/emergency/