Japan announced plans Friday to relax restrictions on close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19, reducing the self-isolation period to as short as three days.
Under the new rules, those who test negative on the second and third day after close contact will no longer need to quarantine. The previous threshold had been five days. The self-isolation period for untested close contacts will be shortened from seven days to five.
Japan reported around 195,000 new COVID cases on Friday in an ongoing record surge. Rather than tightening restrictions on movement, the government is relaxing curbs with an eye toward preventing staffing shortages and the economic impact that would result.
“We are not considering new restrictions on movement at this point,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday at the Keidanren business lobby’s summer forum in Karuizawa.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare that day expanded eligibility for those seeking a fourth vaccine dose to health care and nursing care staff.
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