Japan government says masks not needed outside if you don’t talk too much

Japan’s government is saying it’s not necessary for people to wear masks outside, as long as they aren’t talking to others a lot. On Friday, Health Labor and Welfare Minister Shigeyuki Goto, said that even indoors, masks aren’t necessary if people are not talking a lot, and they can properly socially distance.

The recent change to the Japanese government’s position on masks reportedly comes in light of the increased risk of heatstroke in the country as it heads into summer. Shigeyuki noted, however, that the government still recommends wearing masks on crowded trains.

“Even if you pass by other people outdoors, such as while walking to work, it is not necessary to wear a mask as long as there is little or no conversation.”

Shigeyuki also said that the government has backtracked on its recommendation that children 2 years old and older wear masks, issued in the wake of the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant. He says it is “not uniformly required”.

It’s not just mask laws that Japan has been strict about. Japan has been criticised for its strict border controls. Earlier this month, Japan’s PM announced that in June, visitors can enter the country “as smoothly as other G-7 nations”.

Apart from China, Japan is the last Asian country that still hasn’t opened its border to foreign tourists. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has only been letting in foreigners who are either studying abroad, foreign dignitaries, or people coming for business.


SOURCE: The Japan News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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