The Japanese government will lift its recommendation to wear masks indoors and lower its medical classification for Covid-19, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Friday.
These changes will come into effect at the beginning of May.
Covid-19 will then be classified in the same category as the flu, instead of the current one where it rubs shoulders with tuberculosis and SARS.
Gradual return to normal
Regarding whether to wear the mask, whether indoors or outdoors, the decision will be left to individuals
," Kishida told a televised government meeting.
We will make other decisions about living with the coronavirus and gradually return to normal in homes, schools, businesses, neighborhoods and all aspects of life
,” he added.
Masks are ubiquitous in public places and are frequently worn outdoors as well, although the government has previously said they are no longer needed outdoors when there are no crowds.
Even before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many Japanese wore masks when they had a cold or to ward off viruses in winter.
Mainstream media polls show that the majority of the population will continue to wear a mask, for public health reasons, even after the government recommendation is lifted.
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These changes mean that from May 8, after the “
”, a holiday period, Covid-19 patients and their relatives will no longer need to isolate themselves.
South Korea plans to lift its indoor mask requirement on Monday.
As for China, it abandoned its strict “
” policy last month.
A wave of Covid-19 has since swept across the country.