Ninenzaka, Kyoto
Photo: Sen Lee/UnsplashAn undated stock photo of Ninenzaka, an iconic historical street in Kyoto

Go to Travel suspended in Tokyo from Friday and nationwide over New Year holidays

This comes as the coronavirus expert panel urges the government to take solid measures to curb the spread of Covid-19

By
Lim Chee Wah
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With the current spike in Covid-19 cases, the government has decided to suspend the Go to Travel campaign over the New Year holidays from December 28 until January 11. This is one of the peak travel times of the year and the government hopes that this will help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Further decisions will be made based on the situation after the New Year holidays.

The Japan Times also reports that Tokyo will be taken off the domestic travel subsidy earlier than the above-mentioned dates. Due to the high number of coronavirus cases in Tokyo, any tours and travels into the capital will no longer be eligible for the discount of up to 50 percent starting from Friday December 18. Tokyo residents are also discouraged from travelling outside of the metropolis.

Motto Tokyo, the capital’s very own travel campaign, is also suspended until January 11. To emphasise the severity of the situation, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is urging residents to refrain from any nonessential outings during the upcoming holiday season.

The nationwide Go to Eat dining campaign is taking the same measure. It will be halted temporarily from Friday December 18 until January 11.

According to Kyodo News, the government is considering extending the current Go to Travel suspension for Sapporo and Osaka. The two cities were temporarily taken out of the campaign at the end of November, with the original end-date for the suspension set for tomorrow, Tuesday December 15.

New infections in Tokyo and across Japan have been on a steep rise lately, with local media dubbing it the third wave of coronavirus in the country. On Saturday December 12, Japan registered more than 3,000 new cases in one day, a new record for the country, just as Tokyo hit a new high itself, with 621 reported new infections.

Today, Monday December 14, new cases in Tokyo dropped down to 305. This is based on 5,291 tests conducted.

This report was originally published on December 14 and updated on December 15, 11.03am.

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