The COVID-19 State of Emergency came to an end in Hiroshima and 9 other prefectures yesterday, June 20. Although Hiroshima will not institute the less-stringent measures of a “Quasi State of Emergency”, it will have its own measures in place for the next 3 weeks in the hope of avoiding a “rebound” that could usher in the 5th wave of COVID-19 infections.
State of Emergency Lifted in Hiroshima Prefecture
Although the state of emergency, which had been extended to June 20 has been lifted, Hiroshima governor Yuzaki made it clear that he does not believe that COVID-19 is under control and urged local residents to keep up their efforts to keep its spread to a minimum. The governor has repeatedly said that he feels that the situation cannot be thought of as under control until weekly infection rates are brought down to 4 in every 100,000 people. The rate of infections per 100,000 of population was at 6.7 as of June 18. He once again called on the people of the prefecture to keep outings to below 50% of normal levels.
Business restrictions to continue in 3 areas of Hiroshima
Dining establishments and bars in Hiroshima City, Higashi-hiroshima and Hatsukaichi are encouraged to stop alcohol at 7pm and to close at 8pm until July 11.
Hiroshima department stores Fukuya and Mitsukoshi have announced that they will resume normal opening at weekends from June 21. The two Fukuya department stores, the city center and in front of Hiroshima Station, will slightly shorten opening hours to 10:30am to 7pm. Mitsukoshi will be open 10am to 7:30pm as normal.
Mitsukoshi will go ahead with the delayed opening of its rooftop beer garden from July 25, though it will close at 8pm and stop serving alcohol at 7pm.
Chugoku Shinbun reported larger crowds in Hiroshima City center over the final weekend of the state of emergency.
State of Emergency Lifted in Okayama Prefecture
Okayama which also struggled with high numbers of COVID-19 cases during the 4th wave, will remove restrictions on all areas of the prefecture other than Okayama City. Numbers of new cases in the prefecture have now been below 10 for a week since June 13. In the Okayama City dining and bar establishments will be asked to close by 9pm with alcohol sales finishing by 8pm as part of a “Rebound prevention period” that is expected to last until July 20. Shopping centers over 1000 sure meters on size will be asked to close by 8pm.
Okayama also calls on it’s citizens to observe the fire “Okayama Rules”:
Keep outings to below 50% of normal levels
Avoid the “3 Cs” (crowded places, confined spaces and close contact)
Keep meals to family or gatherings of up to 4 people
Keep gathering for meals to under 2 hours
Pay close attention to your health for 2 weeks after any travel to areas with high infection rates
Follow the “Mask Code”
In Yamaguchi, Governor Okamura has also called on the prefecture’s residents to keep outings down to 50% of normal levels and to continue to avoid travel outside of the prefecture once the State of Emergency is lifted. Sales of “Go To Eat” Premium coupons will also be allowed to resume with availability extended by month until the end of October.
Source: Chugoku Shinbun
June 21, 2021