Airport deserted at start of long weekend

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Naha Airport is deserted with few tourists in sight in Naha on Saturday.

NAHA — A resurgence of the novel coronavirus continued to cast a shadow nationwide on Saturday, the first day of a three-day holiday weekend.

Naha Airport in Okinawa Prefecture — where the number of people infected with the omicron variant of the virus has been increasing — was deserted Saturday morning, although it was crowded with tourists during the year-end and New Year holidays.

A man, who said he and his wife came to Naha from Tokyo for sightseeing, brought a simple antigen test kit with them. He said they would spend their time around the hotel during the vacation, avoiding tourist spots such as Naha’s Kokusai-dori street.

“It’s disappointing as I was looking forward to my first trip in two years. I want to enjoy my stay here as much as possible, while taking care not to get infected,” he said.

In Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures, where priority measures to prevent the spread of the disease will be applied from Sunday, there are moves to postpone or cancel ceremonies in advance of Monday’s Coming-of-Age Day.

In addition to the three prefectures, an increasing number of local governments hold their ceremonies online to new adults.