Japan Aims to Lower COVID-19 Classification This Spring

Politics Society

Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday his government aims to lower the classification of COVID-19 to the same category as seasonal flu under the infectious disease law this spring.

"We'll consider shifting various policies and measures in stages to bring back Japan to normalcy," Kishida told reporters, signaling his desire to fully reopen the economy and society after three years of pandemic restrictions.

The government will also review rules on indoor mask-wearing, he said.

Kishida instructed health minister Katsunobu Kato and others to consider reclassifying COVID-19 from Category II, the second highest on the five-tier system based on the severity of symptoms and the transmissibility, to Category V.

Lowering the classification of COVID-19 to Category V deprives the legal basis for recommending hospitalizations and covering medical expenses with public funding.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press