Japanese restaurants to start experimenting with the use of proof of vaccination
TOKYO (Kyodo) – The Japanese government will begin, starting this month, experimenting with the use of evidence of COVID-19 vaccination in restaurants and other places in 13 prefectures after easing restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections.
The experiment, which will also be carried out in sports stadiums, small concert halls and theaters, aims to confirm whether verification of visitors’ vaccination evidence or negative test results can be carried out without problems.
The experiment will also verify procedures for responding to a situation when infections are detected after events have been held, with steps to include keeping a log of all visitors.
The experiment comes after Japan’s COVID-19 state of emergency was completely lifted on Friday after a steady drop in new cases nationwide and pressure on the country’s medical system reduced. The government plans to ease restrictions in stages to bring back social and economic activities.
Using the experience as a framework, the government aims to avoid uniformly imposing strict measures and to continue economic activities even if the country is hit by another wave of infections in the future.
As part of the experiment, anti-virus measures will be relaxed if visitors prove they are fully vaccinated or show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. The government plans to conduct the experiment in the tourism sector in the future, he said.
In restaurants, groups of five or more will be able to dine together, and opening hours may be extended as long as they are certified by local governments as having taken the necessary measures to prevent infection.
Experimentation at large-scale events will begin on Wednesday at a J-League soccer match in central Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, admitting more than 10,000 spectators, the limit currently adopted for one month by the government.
At such events, including the gymnastics world championships, the government will use technology capable of detecting the concentration of crowds and loud voices and the ratio of people wearing masks, he said.
The names of participating restaurants, bars, theaters and concert halls will be disclosed at a later date, according to the government. The government will also measure the ventilation of these sites.
The 13 prefectures subjected to the experiment are Hokkaido, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi, Ishikawa, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Okinawa.