State of Emergency Extended (again)

Hello, this is Stephanie of IMS. To encourage the decreasing number of COVID infections, the current State of Emergency (SOE) will remain in place until September 30 for 19 of 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka, and Hokkaido. Even if the state of emergency is lifted in some prefectures, pre-emergency measures will likely be implemented instead, sources said.

Under the current SOE, which was put in place on July 12th in response to the 5th wave, people are being urged to avoid crowded areas; restaurants are being asked to refrain from serving alcohol and to close by 8 p.m.

The government plans to remove these requests around November, including allowing people to attend large-scale events if they can provide proof of vaccination or negative test results. Restaurants will also be allowed to sell alcohol again, as long as they are certified to have anti-infection measures in place.

Around 49% of Japan’s total population–62 million people–have received both shots of the vaccines available. Meanwhile, reservation sites continue to be crowded and crash under the strain of the amount of users trying to access them and set up appointments. The mass vaccination centers also run out of available appointments soon after they’re announced.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to pick up vaccinations in the coming months, but we still must all remain vigilant, especially with the delta variant.