Companies in Japan no longer need to identify COVID-19 close contacts
It is also stopping the practice of urging companies to restrict close contacts from commuting to their workplaces.
Previously, when companies detected COVID-19 cases at their workplaces, they would need to identify close contacts on behalf of public health centres and require such individuals to quarantine themselves for seven days.
With this change, workers who had close contact with an infected individual are now allowed to go out only for essential reasons, including to work. They are still expected to refrain from taking actions that increase the risk of infecting others in case they are carriers of the virus.
Nevertheless, at medical institutions and elderly care facilities, close contacts of coronavirus patients will continue to be identified by public health centres.
The health ministry has already notified local municipalities across the country on the change in requirements.
Meanwhile, a panel of pandemic experts has approved the government’s plan to lift its COVID-19 quasi-emergency measures as scheduled on Monday in the 18 prefectures still under that status.
When the measures are lifted, there will be no prefecture in the quasi-emergency stage for the first time since Okinawa and two other prefectures saw the measure implemented on January 9, according to Japan Times.