After three years, Japan on Monday decided to end its requirement that people wear masks, but little else has changed in the nation that once held masks in such high regard for their ability to guard against viruses.
In the morning, the majority of passengers leaving Tokyo’s main railway station were wearing masks as they made their way to work. Others in the streets were also. Some MPs continued to wear masks during a live-streamed budget committee meeting in the house of representatives, although Prime Minister Fumio Kishida wasn’t wearing one when he came at work on Monday.
Before Monday’s games between China and South Korea and Australia and the Czech Republic, baseball fans gathered outside the Tokyo Dome wearing masks. They will be able to applaud the lifting of that restriction without wearing their masks.
One of the final steps Japan’s government is doing to relax COVID-19 laws in public spaces as it attempts to increase business and other activity is to drop the request for mask wearers.
“As of right now, mask use is left to personal discretion. As he entered his office, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters, “We are not compelling anyone to wear it or take it off. “I anticipate removing my mask on more times,” the speaker said.
Many people were anticipated to continue wearing them for the time being in a nation where there is a great drive for uniformity. This summer, the request to wear masks outside was withdrawn, although many people still do.
As of Mar 13, the Japanese government is relaxing the suggestions regarding masking and now officially leaving it up to the individual. Hopefully, this change will encourage any of you who have been putting off a trip due to the masks to book soon! pic.twitter.com/o5NaSeGNOd— A Different Side of Japan (@donnyjkimball) March 12, 2023
Signs urging customers to wear masks were taken down by restaurants, shops, and airlines. Nonetheless, many of their personnel continue to wear masks out of respect for the clients and other people who may also need protection.
The popular business Ramen Jiro tweeted on Monday that although customers are free to wear masks, staff members will continue to do so for the time being. Customers were also urged to cooperate with safety precautions including quiet conversation.
Baseball and soccer fans will no longer be required to wear masks when cheering and will be permitted to do so. The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks made the announcement that starting on Monday, patrons and staff at their stadium can make their own decisions regarding masks.
After essentially closing its borders to foreign tourists for about two years, Japan last fall stopped requiring COVID-19 tests for applicants who had at least three shots. This was a part of the country’s careful easing of measures.