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Ideas for Reopening Society and Economic Activities in Tsukuba after Lifting the State of Emergency (May 15, 2020)

May 16, 2020 12:17 AM | Others

Following Prime Minister Abe's announcement to lift the state of emergency yesterday, Governor Oigawa announced prefectural countermeasures today. Under Ibaraki's four-stage system of exit strategy, the state of emergency will be gradually lifted from stage 4 to stage 3 from May 18th.
(cf. "Corona Next for Ibaraki" attached pictures)

Although the State of Emergency was lifted for Ibaraki, it remains in place for neighboring prefectures such as Chiba, Saitama and Tokyo. Based on 35,000 passengers per day on the Tsukuba Express Line, we need to make a decision carefully to prevent the spread of infection. Given the situations above, we ask the following of citizens until May 31st:

1) Please keep your outings within the city to minimum;
2) Refrain from traveling to the Greater Tokyo Area;
3) Maintain physical distance from other people, wear a mask when going out and wash your hands frequently.

Following a new guidelines, schools will restart in phases.

Guidelines and criteria for the infection: Guidelines for staggering start times of school.pdf

What to do if a student or staff member and the family is infected with COVID-19:What to do.pdf

Kindergarten will remain closed. We ask parents and guardians to voluntarily refrain from using Children's Clubs and day-care centers.

Regarding public facilities, we will gradually reopen them while preventing further spread of infection, starting from outdoor facilities.

Mount Tsukuba pubic car park will be opened from May 18th while preventing further spread of infection. However, we will continue to decline visitors from outside of Ibaraki, as stated by the Prime Minister.

Furthermore, Ibaraki has requested nightclubs and Karaoke boxes to suspend their business. Although the request for restaurants to shorten business hours is lifted, we ask citizens to cooperate in avoiding "3 C's" - confined spaces, crowded places and close contact - to prevent the further spread of infection.

Tsukuba City has been providing livelihood and economical support for its citizens and companies affected by COVID-19. Regarding the Special Cash Payment from the Japanese Government, payment for applications by My Number Card started on May 12th and payment for the applications by post will start on May 25th at the earliest. Also, we are launching our own support measures in stages. Please refer to our website for details.

We are going to ask the City Council to hold an extraordinary session at the end of May to approve further support measures. We will announce the details soon.

We have received donations including masks and disinfection solutions from many citizens which we have distributed to medical institutions, nursing homes for the elderly, daycare centers, nurseries and schools. Also, some researchers and start-up companies contributed by making medical face shields for medical institutions and it became a very unique project drawing on the strengths of Tsukuba. I sincerely appreciate this genuine support from everybody.

I strongly wish to reactivate social and economic activities as soon as possible. However, if we relax our guard too suddenly as has been the case in other cities and countries, we will face the risk of another infection spread and cluster.

On the other hand, please understand that it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk. For instance, the Ministry of Education has pointed out that eliminating the risk completely would mean that we would never be able to reopen schools. To ensure absolutely zero risk, we would need to stop all economic and social activities. This is unrealistic and would result in major damage to the whole of society.

This is why we will need to live with the virus for at least a few years, until a vaccine is developed, while doing everything possible to prevent further infection. We will need to resume controlling the infection and ask citizens to exercise self-restraint again when the infection re-emerges, and repeat this procedure where necessary.

Tsukuba City will continue to redouble its efforts to support the daily lives and livelihoods of citizens, while the virus remains a threat.

We thank you for your ongoing patience and cooperation.
Measures for COVID-19 IBARAKI Prefecture.pdf

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