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

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

  
Employees of Japan Airlines (JAL) wearing protective face masks are seen at the departure zone of Narita international airport, where there are fewer passengers than usual, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan November 2, 2020.

Employees of Japan Airlines (JAL) wearing protective face masks are seen at the departure zone of Narita international airport, where there are fewer passengers than usual, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan November 2, 2020.

Reuters/Issei Kato

TOKYO  - 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.

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.) ((Sakura.Murakami@thomsonreuters.com;))

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