The Japanese government has extended and expanded its entry ban policy to contain COVID-19. “The global spread of the virus has not stopped,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a meeting of the COVID-19 countermeasures headquarters on Monday. “The entry ban policy will be extended until the end of May, from the previous schedule of the end of April.” According to the new announcement, those who have visited 73 countries subject to the entry ban, including South Korea, China, the U.S., and most European countries, during the last two weeks are not allowed in Japan until the end of May.
As COVID-19 widely spreads, more and more people are predicting that the Tokyo Olympics may not be held in July next year. The Mainichi Shimbun published special editor Takao Yamada’s editorial titled, “Forward-looking suspension of Olympics,” on the newspaper’s second page. “Many experts believe that the spread of the virus will continue for over a year,” said the editor. “The possibility of the suspension of the Tokyo Olympics is not small,” he added, calling for a “strategic suspension plan (plan B)” to be set up in advance.
Medical experts are also voicing the same opinion. “The Olympics cannot be held just because Japan is doing better – COVID-19 should come to an end world-wide,” said Distinguished Professor Yoshihiro Kitamura of Nagano University of Health and Medicine. “The chance of holding the Tokyo Olympics next year is zero percent.”