As Japan desperately seeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus and ease the growing strain on the nation’s medical system, the government is enacting its strongest anti-virus measures in months. But for now, the government is not returning to measures that would limit people's movements or negatively impact business activities.

With the seventh wave of coronavirus infections reaching unprecedented heights, the government is beefing up the number of hospital beds available and expanding the scope of those eligible for fourth vaccine shots. At the same time, the government is shortening the self-quarantine periods for close contacts of those infected to limit the impact on economic activities.

Furthermore, to ease the burdens on clinics that accept COVID-19 patients, which are struggling to keep up with demand, the government will start distributing antigen test kits to them. A person who suspects they may have COVID-19 can pick up a test kit, use it themselves at home and have the results registered through special health centers set up by municipalities.