Japan resumes domestic travel campaign with virus cases recorded

Today, travelers crowd the departure lobby of Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. (AP photo)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan said it would suspend a domestic travel campaign in regions with particularly high cases of coronavirus, as nationwide cases reached a record high on Saturday.

The partial suspension of the domestic travel campaign represents a change in direction for the government, which has been preventing the curtailment of the domestic travel support program.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said: “We will suspend new reservations under the Go To Travel program for trips to regions with a high incidence of coronavirus infections.”

Suga is trying to strike a balance to revitalize the hard-hit Japanese economy while keeping the spread of the Coronavirus under control. However, a panel of experts on Friday recommended that the government scale back the program if there is another increase in the number of cases.

The government has not confirmed details of the partial suspension, such as regions to be excluded from the domestic travel campaign or cancellation policies.

New coronavirus cases continued to rise nationwide, with cases surpassing 2,500 for the first time and reaching a new high of 2,560 on Saturday, according to NHK public broadcaster. In Tokyo, the daily infection rate reached a record high of 539 cases.

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