Japan Reportedly Considers Reclassifying Covid-19 as Seasonal Flu

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that the country is considering revising Covid-19 regulations as soon as this spring, downgrading the disease to a less serious category and removing instructions that people wear masks in public indoor places.

Kishida told reporters following a meeting with relevant ministers that he had instructed them to consider the specific requirements for a reclassification that would place Covid-19 in the same category as seasonal flu.

“As we try to restore the lifestyles of a normal Japan, we would like to shift various measures step by step,” Kishida told reporters, translated by Reuters.

A move from disease category two to disease category five would eliminate the need for infected people and their close contacts to be isolated.

Kishida also suggested a separate measure where the government would advise only patients with symptoms to wear masks in indoor public places.