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Gov't beefs up patrols after up to 300 people per day break quarantine rules in Japan

The building housing the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi/Kimi Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- The government has embarked on intensive patrols and other measures to ensure people are abiding by quarantine rules, following the discovery that as many as 300 people per day were breaking coronavirus quarantine requirements after entering Japan.

    A survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and other parties revealed that some people under quarantine had failed to report their whereabouts or had left quarantine locations without permission.

    The central government requires all people who arrived in Japan from other countries to be quarantined at locations such as their homes and hotels for 14 days to check their health conditions. It requires them to install location tracking, video call and other apps on their smartphones and to submit a written oath to use them upon entering the country. It also sends daily notifications, asking them to report their location and health, and checks via video calls where they are.

    Wary of the spread of virus variants, the central government has decided to send warning emails to those who do not answer video calls, and to strengthen measures such as checking their locations through intensive patrols by private security companies.

    In seeking cooperation from those in quarantine, the government has warned people that it can publicly name those who break the rules, and that foreign nationals who don't abide could have their residency status revoked or be forcibly deported.

    (Japanese original by Hidenori Yazawa, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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