Governors urge continued caution as Covid-19 travel restrictions lifted

Cross-prefectural travel restrictions were lifted across Japan today, but local governments still urge caution. It was announced on June 14 that all patients with Covid-19 had been discharged. There now remains only one patient in the Chugoku region, in Yamaguchi Prefecture. With only 3 fatalities due to Covid-19 recorded across the region, it can be said that we have dodged a bullet. Local authorities, however, are urging us to maintain caution in the hope of avoiding a second wave.

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Cross-prefectural travel restrictions were lifted today and the threat level in Hiroshima Prefecture is now at Level 1. At Level 1, citizens are still urged to avoid the 3Cs, continue to follow personal hygiene and social distancing recommendations. Although business travel is now allowed, companies are encouraged to employ remote working, online meetings and staggered attendance for the foreseeable future. At the same time as encouraging people in the region to patronize tourist locations, dine in restaurants and spend money in shops within the Chugoku region, authorities are hoping people will exercise proper judgement in wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining appropriate distance while doing so. They also request that people to check local conditions and guidelines before traveling and to avoid travel to any areas that still have high numbers of cases of Covid-19 (Tokyo, Sapporo and Kitakyushu in particular). Okayama’s governor went further and requested that people confine leisure travel to within the local area and that anyone visiting Tokyo avoid nightlife areas which saw an increase in cases after restrictions were relaxed. Indoor events of up to 1000 people will also now be allowed as long as measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are in place, with restrictions to be reviewed again June 19. The pro baseball season also final starts tonight, though games will be played in empty stadiums. Hiroshima Carp play Yokohama DeNA in Yokohama. Bike rental services on the Shimanami Kaido also resumed today with virus prevention measures and guidelines in place. Hiroshima Prefecture has asked us to remind everyone to follow the following 7 requests 1. Wear a mask when out and about, but be sure to remove masks when more than 2m apart from other people during hot weather. 2. Avoid places that have high numbers of Covid-19 cases or are not taking appropriate precautionary measures. 3. Avoid any events with large numbers of people where appropriate precautionary measures are not being employed. 4. Check local conditions and guidelines before traveling and avoid high risk destinations. 5. Work from home as much as possible. If going to your workplace try to walk or go by bicycle. 6. Please cooperate with contact tracing if asked. 7. Refrain from disparaging Covid-19 patients as well as those working in hospitals to keep us all safe.