Govt encourages removing masks when outdoors

REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passersby wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walk on a street in Tokyo, Japan June 9, 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The health ministry is stepping up its call on people to remove face masks outdoors in principle during summer, when the risk of heat stroke increases.

Wearing face masks as a measure to prevent COVID-19 infections is “not necessary even indoors if people can stay apart from each other and don’t engage in conversation,” health minister Shigeyuki Goto said at a press conference on Tuesday, asking people to wear and remove masks according to the situation.

In May, the government released its view on wearing and removing masks, including in which situations they can be removed.

As many people still continue to wear masks outdoors, the ministry has decided to run a TV commercial to make the view widely known, as well as publishing a leaflet.