Japan delays domestic travel plan after COVID cases surge

Japan Today -- Jul 13
Japan recorded more than 76,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, more than double from a week earlier and topping the 70,000 mark for the first time since March 3 amid signs the nation is undergoing a seventh wave of infections.

Record one-day infections were logged in 12 prefectures including the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa, which saw 3,436 infections and four more deaths.

In response to the surging cases, the government now plans to postpone the launch of a nationwide travel subsidy program for Japan residents that it had envisioned for the first half of July.

The new subsidy campaign is expected to be an expanded version of a similar program currently implemented at the prefectural level to encourage local travel among residents. The government will continue its financial support for the area-limited subsidies through the end of August.

Despite the postponement, government officials have ruled out restrictions on people's movements. At a news conference, health minister Shigeyuki Goto expressed concern about a further increase in infections during the upcoming summer vacation period, but said, "We don't think the current situation requires movement controls."

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