Japan to consider relaxing rules on wearing masks indoors

The mask rules could change if the government downgrades Covid-19’s disease classification status

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
Associate Editor, Time Out Tokyo
Stock photo of crowd in Tokyo
Photo: StreetVJ/Shutterstock

While Japan has thankfully reopened to tourism, the country is encouraging travellers to follow antivirus measures including wearing masks. According to Kyodo News, however, the government is now considering relaxing the recommendation for the public to wear masks indoors unless they have Covid-19 symptoms. 

This potential change follows the government’s announcement last May that stated masks were no longer required outside as long as an appropriate social distance was maintained. Since then, people are encouraged to still wear masks indoors, including on public transport and at restaurants when not eating. 

The relaxation in rules comes as the government also mulls downgrading the Covid-19 classification status to the same level as influenza, which was also reported by Kyodo News. Currently, Covid-19 is labelled under the Class 2 disease category, but could potentially change to Class 5. According to the report, Japan is considering this change as Covid-19 has become gradually less fatal and the country is keen on boosting the economy.

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