A message from the Governor of Iwate about COVID-19 (April 23rd)
-A message given by Governor Tasso during the 12th meeting of the Iwate Prefecture COVID-19 Countermeasures HQ (April 23rd)-
Today (2020.04.23), we have reached a decision to implement state of emergency measures for Iwate Prefecture to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Based on the measures outlined in the recent law, I implore all Iwate residents to avoid non-essential and non-urgent travel and outings, especially to restaurants or businesses that provide in-person services in downtown and shopping district areas. We are approaching Golden Week soon, however, I sincerely request residents to refrain from travelling home or to other areas during the extended holidays, particularly travelling between prefectures, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Daily life activities, such as hospital visits, shopping for groceries, medicines, and living necessities, commuting to essential work locations, and outdoor workouts or walking exercises will not be considered non-essential and non-urgent travel and outings.
These state of emergency measures are different from the “lockdown” measures conducted in other countries. Therefore, I request residents to stay calm and avoid creating any confusion by panic-buying groceries, medicines, and others.
Although commuting to work will not be considered as non-essential travel, I highly urge companies to implement a work-from-home system, and if commuting to work is unavoidable, please consider introducing staggered work hours or avoiding public transportation by commuting by bicycle to reduce the number of interactions with others as much as possible.
I will also request several facilities to temporarily close operations as an effort to prevent spread of the virus. For small-to-medium size businesses, I will propose a preliminary budget at the Prefectural Assembly to provide financial support for fully cooperating with the closures.
In addition, as part of the prefectural government’s support towards small-to-medium size businesses within Iwate Prefecture, I will propose another preliminary budget at the Prefectural Assembly to help sustain businesses in the retail, restaurant, and service industries that experience a decrease in revenue of half or more by providing a financial subsidy in property or tenant rent fees.
It is important that all residents, regardless of region, business, or organization, must thoroughly cooperate in various social distancing measures. By doing so, we will be able to reach an end to this stressful situation, so let us all work together as a whole for Iwate.
Once again, I would like to urge Iwate residents to continue avoiding enclosed spaces with poor ventilation, gathering in crowded areas, and conversing in close-contact with others. Likewise, to be even more careful in following basic preventive measures such as washing hands or practicing coughing etiquette.
Office of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Promotion
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