Japan to halt local tourism campaign amid new peak of Covid-19 cases
The Japanese government plans to partially stop its Go To Travel domestic tourism campaign for areas hard hit by the pandemic, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in parts of the country.
The cities of Osaka and Sapporo will temporarily be excluded from the campaign, which would initially last for three weeks.
The government has also said that it will be covering cancellation fees for pre-booked trips to the two cities, and compensate businesses affected by the suspension.
“Infections are spreading and medical care is becoming tense, so I think it’s good to act as soon as possible,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting, according to Reuters.
Osaka recorded 171 new cases on Monday, after registering a record 286 cases the day prior. Meanwhile in Sapporo, the city reported 140 cases on Monday. This is below the city’s record of 197 cases in the previous week.
The government set up the domestic travel campaign to help boost local businesses, which provides local residents with subsidies of up to 50% on transport, hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and shopping within the country.
The campaign was launched to mix reception, with some residents taking to social media to tell urbanites to stay away from rural areas.