Japan to Shorten Quarantine for Close Contacts

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Tokyo, July 22 (Jiji Press)--Japan will shorten the quarantine period for those who have had close contact with novel coronavirus carriers to as little as three days, the health ministry said Friday.

The new isolation period will be five days in principle, down from seven days at present. But COVID-19 close contacts will be allowed to end their quarantine as early as the third day after coming in such contact, if they test negative for the coronavirus on two consecutive days.

The ministry judged that the change is unlikely to intensify the spread of COVID-19, given the recent increase in new cases whose infection routes cannot be identified.

Japan's daily infection tally topped 190,000 cases Friday to log yet another record high as the BA.5 omicron variant rages. The government hopes to mitigate the impact of a sharp increase in close contacts on social and economic activities.

The government also decided to start preparations for a fresh round of COVID-19 vaccinations as early as autumn using improved versions effective against omicron variants. For those already administered with four shots, the new versions will be their fifth.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press