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Workers and students, roll up your sleeves: Japan will start COVID-19 vaccinations at workplaces and universities on June 21 — or perhaps sooner, if things go well — to speed up the pace of the rollout, the government says.

And in a sign of changed priorities, the capital’s Yoyogi Park, which was supposed to host a public viewing area for the Tokyo Olympics, will instead become a mass vaccination site.

It may come as a surprise to learn that the oldest members of the Imperial family have had to wait in line for their shots like everyone else. The former emperor, former empress and four other royals got their first jabs Tuesday, sources say.

Olympics: Australia's softball squad arrives in Japan as government widens vaccine rollout | INQUIRER.NET
Olympics: Australia’s softball squad arrives in Japan as government widens vaccine rollout | INQUIRER.NET

Meanwhile, restrictions on businesses were eased Tuesday in areas under the state of emergency, with department stores, cinemas and amusement parks in Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere reopened after more than a month of closures.

At the same time, entry rules have been tightened for travelers coming from Vietnam and Malaysia. The government is on high alert for a coronavirus variant identified in Vietnam — a hybrid of the British and Indian strains that is considered extremely dangerous.

Yesterday’s (and last Tuesday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 2,643 (3,918). By prefecture (80 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Tokyo 471 (542), Aichi 305 (417), Hokkaido 254 (459), Okinawa 223 (256), Osaka 201 (327), Kanagawa 159 (200), Saitama 114 (128), Hyogo 112 (139), Fukuoka 81 (199). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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