Japan to suspend domestic travel campaign in virus hotspots

Chikafumi Hodo, Grace Huang & Takashi Nakamichi
Japan will partially suspend the country’s “Go-To” domestic travel campaign in areas where coronavirus cases are increasing, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.
Suga didn’t specify the places where the campaign will be suspended. About 40 million people used the Go-To-Travel program between July 22 to Oct. 31, according to the tourism agency.
Suga and cabinet members gathered on Saturday to discuss the effort, which had been a boost to the local economy with subsidies provided on travel and dining. The country’s virus task force had earlier recommended that the government consider reviewing the program, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday.
“We need to act as swiftly as possible,” Suga told reporters, adding that he has instructed relevant ministers to take measures on the virus infections.
The premier said he suggested that no new reservations should be accepted under the campaign, and requested local governments to stop issuing new “Go-To Eat” food coupons.
Suga also said he plans use national funds to conduct Covid-19 tests for some elderly people in medical and nursing facilities.
The government will finalize details over the coming few days on how it will partially suspend the campaign designed to spur domestic traveling, the economy minister said. AP

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