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Regarding the lifting of Priority Measures and Future Measures(As of July 8)

Updated:2021年7月8日更新 print

Today, the National Government Task Force has decided to remove Fukuoka Prefecture from the priority measures as of July 11. In response to this decision, the prefectural government have decided measures for the future.

Regarding to the Infection Situation

On April 19, a press conference together with Fukuoka City Mayor Takashima and requested the citizens of Fukuoka Prefecture and businesses in Fukuoka City to shorten their business hours, and we apologize for the inconvenience and hardships caused over the past three months. We are also grateful to all the medical professionals who are working hard against COVID-19 in the field. We would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your understanding and great cooperation, which has enabled us to lift the priority measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Since June 5, the number of new positive cases has remained below the level equivalent to stage 2 of the national index. As for the medical institutions, 1,413 beds and 2,106 rooms of temporary accommodations have been secured for COVID-19 patients. On June 28th, the number of cases per 100,000 people in the past week has been maintained at the level where we can request the national government to lift the priority measures.

With the decrease in the number of new cases, the number of hospitalized patients has continued to decline since late May, and the hospital bed occupancy rate as of July 7 was 9.6%, falling below 10% for the first time in about eight months.

Measures to take for the future

Looking at the current situation of infection and the burden on the medical institutions, there is little need to continue strict measures that involve restrictions on private rights, such as refraining from going out, shortening the business hours of restaurants, and serving alcohol, even after the lifting of the priority measures to prevent the spread of the disease. However, the lifting of the measures does not mean that the COVID-19 infections has ended, and the lifting of the priority measures must not lead to a break from the situation. We need to monitor the effects of new mutated variant such as the delta variant, which one confirmed case in our prefecture on July 6, and the trend of infection spreading in Tokyo and Osaka, where there is a lot of traffic with our prefecture. For this reason, based on the opinions of experts and municipalities, we request the following cooperation from the prefectural residents and businesses of the prefecture.

Request to Prefectural Residents

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When going out, please carefully check the infection status of your destination and the infection prevention practices of the facility you are going to and choose a time and place that are not crowded. If you have symptoms such as fever, please avoid going out.

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When traveling across prefectural borders, for vacation and going back to hometown, please follow basic infection prevention practices, including avoiding the "three Cs". Please refrain from unnecessary travel to and from prefectures under the state of emergency and the priority measures areas to preventing the spread of the disease.

Request when going to Restaurants and Bars

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Do not use restaurants that do not have thorough infection prevention measures in place.

Regardless of the number of people, if infection prevention measures are not sufficient, the risk of getting infected increases. Especially when eating with many people, it is easy for droplets to fly due to loud voices. Therefore, please comply with the items listed in the "Guidelines to Avoid Infection Risk while at Restaurants" and refrain from using restaurants that do not have adequate infection prevention measures. (See Attachment 1,Guidelines to Avoid Infection Risk while at Restaurants [PDFファイル/143KB] )

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Please refrain from drinking for a prolonged periods exceeding two hours, as it is easy to become loud due to the excitement and loss of attention. In addition, please wear a mask and do not shout during conversations. This also applies to dinners at homes, outdoor barbecues, etc. Please do not drink from each other's drinks or reuse used cups around. When groups are using multiple tables, please refrain from moving from table to table.

Regarding use of Karaoke facilities

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Please disinfect microphones and other equipment thoroughly each time the number of singers change. When singing, please wear a mask and keep a distance of at least two meters from other people. Please maintain a distance of at least one meter between users and avoid seating in front of them. Clusters occurs at daytime Karaoke facilities. Please pay close attention to when using them.

Request to Restaurant and Bar Owners

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Please observe the "Guidelines to Avoid Infection Risk while at Restaurants" shown separately and take thorough measures to prevent infection. Specifically, please keep a distance of at least one meter between the seats of customers and avoid placing them directly in front of each other or separate them with acrylic panels or the like. The same applies to counter seats; please leave a space of at least one meter or use acrylic panels to separate them so that customers do not come into close contact with each other, and open windows in two directions every 30 minutes to ensure proper ventilation.

Please encourage customers to wear masks and not to shout. Please cooperate with the new certification system of the prefecture government and try to obtain the "Infection Prevention Certification" that will be explained later.

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In the case of banquet halls such as large halls in hotels and restaurants where large groups of people are to dine, such as at wedding receptions, please keep the distance between seats and tables to no more than 50% of the capacity when serving food and keep the distance between seats and tables to no more than one meter or separate them with acrylic panels. Please do allow people not go to other tables or to go and pour a drink to someone else and refrain from having a standing meal.

For establishments that use karaoke equipment, please thoroughly disinfect microphones and remote controls, and place disinfection equipment in each karaoke box. Since many people gather at snack bars and karaoke cafes, please ensure that there is adequate ventilation and distance between people.

The prefectural government will continue to check whether restaurants and bars are taking proper measures to prevent infection, and based on reports from the prefectural residence, will immediately conduct on-site inspections and provide necessary guidance.

Start of Infection Prevention Certification System

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In addition to the patrols, we will also implement the new infection prevention certification system that was mentioned earlier. This is an initiative in which the prefecture government checks the implementation of infection prevention measures in each restaurant and certifies them. By displaying the new "infection prevention sticker," certified restaurants will be able to objectively demonstrate that their infection prevention measures are appropriate. By displaying the certification sticker, people can use restaurants with greater peace of mind.

There are 40 criteria for certification based on industry-specific guidelines, with additional criteria for establishments that provide karaoke and food and beverage with entertainment. The prefectural government's own criteria include temperature checks for employees when they arrive at work, disinfection of doorknobs, ticket vending machines, and other places frequently touched by customers, and the prepare a checklist so that people can see.

From the end of this month, inspectors will visit about 35,000 restaurants in the prefecture to check the infection prevention measures in their establishments and will start accepting applications from restaurants for certification from next Friday, July 16. Applications will be accepted online or by paper. Information on how to apply and the criteria for certification was posted on the COVID-19 page on the prefectural website today (July 8), so please check it out. To avoid any disadvantages to business, the certification will be sent all together in late September. Although the certification does not have a number, we will also issue a certificate with the certification number on it. This will be displayed in the restaurant near the cash register. Certified restaurants will be given 50,000 yen to purchase disinfectants and other equipment to continue their infection prevention measures. To ensure that infection prevention measures are thoroughly implemented, and that people can use restaurants with peace of mind, we would like to ask all restaurants to understand the certification system and actively apply for it.

For future measures

There will be a lot of movement of people due to the Obon and other events, and there will inevitably be traffic to and from the priority measures areas. To prevent the spread of the disease from areas where the infection has spreading, we are considering the introduction of a system to conduct antigen tests at airports and Shinkansen stations. Additionally, to contain the infection at an early stage in the downtown areas, we would like to consider, together with the associated municipalities, conducting a wide range of PCR tests to contain the cluster at an early stage when signs of the cluster are detected.

Reviewing the Fukuoka Corona Alert

If there are signs of a rebound in the future, it is important to take immediate and effective measures to minimize the spread of infection. To be able to take prompt and appropriate measures based on the most recent infection situation and the burden on the medical institutions, we are considering reviewing the current "Fukuoka Corona Alert" and formulating a new set of guidelines unique to the prefecture to alert residents and businesses and request their cooperation. Basically, considering the experience from the fourth wave and the impact of mutant variants, we would like to set a stricter measure than the national index so that we can respond flexibly. We are now listening to the opinions of municipalities and the knowledge of experts, and we hope to decide and present specific details as soon as possible.

Lastly

To protect the lives and health of ourselves and our loved ones, we ask all prefectural residents and businesses to once again take thorough measures to prevent infection and work together to contain COVID-19.

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