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Japan downgrades legal status of Covid-19, relaxes measures
Japan downgrades legal status of Covid-19, relaxes measures

Tokyo, May 8 : Japan on Monday officially downgraded the legal status of Covid-19 to the same category of seasonal influenza and relaxed other Covid-19 measures previously in place.

The downgrading of the virus means it will no longer be in a special category equivalent to or stricter than Class 2, but is now categorised among Class 5 diseases like seasonal influenza, Xinhua news agency reported.  If there is in future a spike in cases of Covid-19 infections, under the new lowered categorisation, a state of emergency will not be declared and people and businesses are allowed to make decisions by themselves on antivirus measures.  As for quarantine guidelines following infection, the government here had previously recommended that those testing positive for Covid-19 isolate for a period of seven days and those who had been in close contact with an infected person quarantine for five days.  The government has removed these guidelines, although some advisories remain in place for students and others, including nursing care providers.  Prior to this, on March 13, the wearing of face masks became a decision left up to each individual.  Covid-19 vaccinations will continue to be free through this fiscal year, although residents of Japan will have to pick up the tab for outpatient care or hospitalisation for Covid-19-related care and treatment.

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