The controversial Go To Travel campaign kicked off Wednesday amid growing concerns about whether it will lead to increased coronavirus infections and mounting criticism over the government’s handling of its rollout.

The discount travel campaign began as Tokyo’s governor asked residents to refrain from unnecessary travel over a long weekend beginning Thursday. Questions were growing as to how and why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government went ahead with the campaign despite the recent uptick in coronavirus cases and local leaders’ calls to rethink the plan.

The ¥1.35 trillion campaign was originally designed to promote domestic travel by anyone to any destination they wished with an up to a 50 percent discount via deals and vouchers issued from September. But after a spike in coronavirus cases in Tokyo, the government announced a sudden decision to exclude travel to and from the capital late last week.