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Japan to halt domestic travel campaign in areas of high virus cases

(Visitors wearing face masks look at exhibits at the Tokyo National Museum in the Japanese capital on June 2, 2020. The museum reopened the same day under pre-booking system to prevent coronavirus infection). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Nov 21, 2020, Reuters. Japan said it will suspend a domestic travel campaign in areas where coronavirus infections are especially high as cases in the capital Tokyo hit a record high on Saturday, Reuters reported.

The partial suspension of the domestic travel campaign marks a change in direction for the government, which was holding back on curtailing a domestic travel subsidy programme.

“We will suspend new reservations under the Go To Travel programme for trips destined for regions seeing a rise in coronavirus infections,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.

Suga has been attempting a balancing act of revitalising Japan’s hard-hit economy while keeping the spread of the coronavirus under control. However, an expert panel recommended on Friday that the government curtail the programme if there is a further rise in cases.

New coronavirus cases have continued to climb nationally. In Tokyo, the daily infection rate reached a record 539 cases on Saturday.

Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Lincoln Feast.

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