• Kyodo

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About 77 percent of mothers with small children said they will have fewer plans than last year for excursions during summer break, as the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing, a recent survey by a toy company shows.

In a sign of changing lifestyles for families amid the pandemic, 77.3 percent of those surveyed cited fewer outings with kids and 79.1 percent said they will narrow down the areas where they spend their holidays, said Bornelund Inc.

“The society as a whole must think of how to secure opportunities for children to play and grow in the new lifestyle,” said the Tokyo-based firm, which imports and sells intellectual education toys.

Asked why they will have fewer plans to go out this year, 70.4 percent, which accounted for the largest portion, said the facilities or places they want to visit are closed or have entry or time restrictions due to the epidemic, the survey said.

It also found that 65.9 percent do not want to go where many people will gather and 42.6 percent have children whose vacations were shortened.

Schools across the country will have fewer holidays than usual to make up for classroom hours lost to the coronavirus-related closure requests in April, when the school year typically starts.

Among those with plans to go out, the most popular destination was within the prefectures where they reside at 35.1 percent, followed by 22.0 percent who said they will keep travel within their municipalities.

Only 4.9 percent said they plan to travel outside their prefectures and regions, down from 43.1 percent last year.

Respondents also expressed anxiety on how to spend time with their children. In the survey, 67.5 percent cited restrictions in the places and facilities they could go to, and 42.6 percent worried about the limitations in spending much time at home.

The online survey was conducted between July 9 and 13 on 755 mothers in their 20s to 40s who have children in kindergarten or the lower grades of elementary school.

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