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Japan to release immigration detainees as centers fear virus outbreaks

JIJI

Immigration authorities plan to make active use of provisional release to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in detention facilities, it was learned Friday.

The plan was included in the Immigration Services Agency’s guidelines for coronavirus countermeasures released Friday.

Provisional release will allow detainees to leave for medical treatment or other reasons. Various conditions, including deposits and restrictions on their movements, will be imposed on those so released.

The agency has decided to offer provisional release to detainees who show no symptoms of coronavirus infection, unless they have committed serious crimes. The measure is is being taken because detention facilities are often congested environments involving close contact and high infection risks.

In addition, the guidelines include isolating new detainees for around two weeks and limiting their visitors to consular officials and lawyers.

According to the agency, 914 people were being detained in 17 facilities across the country at the end of April. No coronavirus infections have been confirmed among facility staff and detainees.

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