First it was 14 days, then 10, and now seven.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday evening that Japan will cut the isolation period for close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to seven days amid concerns that societal and business activities will be hampered if more people need to be absent from work.

The isolation period for essential workers, which is currently six days, can be shortened to five days if the individual tests negative, Kishida said.