It has been one week since the priority preventive measures were expanded to include Yokohama.
Kanagawa Prefecture has revised its enforcement policies, and has decided to further expand the areas designated for priority measures and to request an all-day suspension of alcoholic beverage sales at food and drink establishments from April 28 to May 11.
To limit the influx of people from Tokyo where a third state of emergency has been declared, it is believed that an all-day suspension of alcohol sales is an unfortunate, but unavoidable step.
Drinking and dining establishments are already in a difficult situation due to the effects of the prolonged request for shortened operating hours. With the request for all-day suspension of alcohol sales, I strongly urged Governor Kuroiwa for further supporting measures in addition to the grants to cooperating establishments. I will continue to appeal for support from the prefectural government.
Yokohama will continue to provide steadfast support not only to restaurants but to all local businesses to overcome this challenging time together.
In light of the revised enforcement policy from Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama will implement the following measures in addition to those already in place.
-At public facilities and events organized or co-organized by the city, alcoholic beverages will not be provided starting April 28, and entry will be regulated to prevent crowds from forming.
-During the long public holiday, the Yokohama City COVID-19 Call Center will continue to operate and provide consultation 24 hours a day.
-A temporary consultation service will open to assist residents experiencing difficulty in their daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from May 1 through 5 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Consultation will be available at two locations, Kotobuki Fukushi Plaza Consultation Room and Kanagawa Kōkaidō,* or by phone or email.
[*Provisional English names.]
-Yokohama will establish a system enlisting city personnel from all departments to provide robust support to mass vaccination venues. The city will also develop a new process for responding flexibly to increased workloads at local ward Health and Welfare Centers by deploying support staff based on the ongoing infection situation.
Over the last week, 638 new cases were identified in Yokohama, 1.3 times the number of the previous week and indicating a striking trend. The proportion of infections by variant strains is also on the rise in the prefecture.
With the approach of a long public holiday, Yokohama will maintain medical care and consultation systems, provide substantial support for residents, and prepare for a further spread of infections.
Yokohama has secured 554 beds for COVID-19 cases, nearly twice the number of patients testing positive during the peak of the third wave.
In addition, 198 beds are available for patients who may be infected, with a further 173 for patients recovering from symptoms, for a total of 925 beds at 64 local health care facilities, and both infectious disease treatment and everyday medical care are being steadily provided.
Rest assured that even during the long public holiday, the city is preparing a system to ensure medical care is available at emergency clinics and nighttime emergency medical centers thanks to the cooperation of health care institutions.
In addition, based on the ongoing infection situation, the city is organizing a special response team for Y-CERT, where on-duty doctors are stationed in readiness, to smoothly coordinate patient hospitalizations, transfers, and transportation to and from hospitals.
As of April 22, nearly 3,900 people had been vaccinated at 29 long term care facilities where vaccinations began on April 12. Vaccinations will continue in May at 400 to 500 facilities.
Group vaccinations, to take place at 19 venues such as auditoriums and sports centers in each ward, will begin in Aoba Ward on May 17 and at all venues starting May 19. Individual vaccinations are scheduled to start in June at 76 hospitals and 1,053 clinics.
As the head of the COVID-19 response headquarters of the Mayors Association of Designated Cities, I personally made a request to Minister Kono for a steady supply of vaccine. Minister Kono responded that supplies will be made available in earnest after the long public holiday, with 10 million doses to be distributed each week across Japan. The city will continue to dedicate its full efforts to ensuring that every resident who wishes to get the vaccine can do so with peace of mind.
To all city departments:
-Based on the city’s policies, please reassess the measures in place for the facilities and events managed by your ward or bureau, and ensure that users, visitors, and related parties are informed of these measures.
-Whether at work or otherwise, make sure to observe basic measures to prevent infection, avoid actions that are accompanied by a high risk of infection, and ensure that all personnel are aware of these measures.
-Please establish a system at each Ward Administration Office or Bureau that can respond flexibly to changes in the infection situation even during the long holiday.
I request to all residents:
-Please refrain from unnecessary and non-urgent outings and observe basic preventive measures.
-Please refrain from traveling between prefectures except when necessary to your daily life.
-When drinking or dining out, please choose establishments that have taken measures to prevent infections. Please also avoid going to restaurants after 8 p.m.
-Please do not consume alcohol outside your homes.
Thank you for your continued cooperation.
I request to our local businesses:
-Starting April 28, I ask that you please cease offering alcoholic beverages at any hour of the day. Establishments with karaoke equipment are also asked not to provide karaoke services at any hour.
-I ask that attractions or facilities serving large numbers of customers shorten their business hours to 8 p.m. to reduce the flow of people at night. In addition, please ensure that admission is regulated to prevent crowds in or around each facility.
-Please help employees reduce contact with others while at work or commuting, and aim for a 70% reduction of staff in offices by implementing remote work, flexible working hours, staggered commuting and lunch breaks, and other measures.
The City of Yokohama will continue to work with national and prefectural governments and medical institutions to protect the lives and livelihoods of all our residents.
To stop the spread of infection and return to our daily lives as soon as possible, it is essential that each and every one of us observes preventive measures. Even to protect against the spread of variant strains, the measures that must be taken are the same.
There will be a light at the end of this tunnel.
I wish for all of us together to make it through this challenging time. I think that this long public holiday will be a critical moment. I hope you will join me in working to make it through successfully.