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No business closures, but Tokyoites are asked to practise Five Ss to curb Covid-19 spread

The metropolitan government’s new guidelines are all about keeping gatherings small, short and separated

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

Over the last couple of days, Tokyo has seen record-breaking numbers of Covid-19 cases, leading the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to raise the capital to the highest alert level. 

At a press conference held by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Thursday November 19, the governor shared five new guidelines – already dubbed the Five Ss online – for people to follow when dining out or spending time with friends. Here they are:

  • Small numbers of people
  • Short gatherings of approximately one hour
  • Speak quietly 
  • Split food onto individual plates, rather than sharing from one
  • Sensible use of face masks, disinfectant and frequent ventilation 

Although these may all seem like small steps, Koike said this will help reduce the risk of transmission without requiring businesses to close or people to stay at home. When Tokyo was previously placed on the highest alert level, nightlife businesses were asked to close early. Although that hasn’t happened this time, Koike said future decisions on reduced business hours will depend on the number of serious cases, which have so far remained relatively low despite the overall increase in confirmed cases.

At the time of writing, there are 35,722 confirmed cases in Tokyo.

This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is available.

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