Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Photo: Jezael Melgoza/UnsplashAn undated stock photo of Shibuya Scramble Crossing

Japan to downgrade Covid-19 status to same level as seasonal flu

This change, which will take effect in spring, could mean the end of having to wear masks indoors

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

Recently, Japan announced it would consider relaxing its recommendation on wearing masks indoors if the classification of Covid-19 was lowered to that of the seasonal flu. It seems the change is coming, with Nikkei Asia reporting that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed his cabinet to reclassify Covid-19's status starting this spring.

Covid-19 is currently labelled under Class 2, which is Japan's second-highest disease category and includes other diseases like SARS and tuberculosis. With the coming change, Covid-19 will be considered a Class 5 disease. Under the new category, quarantine and state of emergency announcements will no longer be necessary.

The change comes as Covid-19 has become gradually less fatal and Japan is working towards economic recovery after a harsh few years through the pandemic. 

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