The following is the gist of what will change in Japan when the legal status of the novel coronavirus is downgraded to Class 5, on par with seasonal influenza.

The government will:

-- scrap quarantine period of seven days for patients and five days for close contacts.

-- not pay all medical costs for treating and hospitalizing patients.

-- allow ordinary hospitals to examine COVID-19 patients, rather than current designated medical facilities.

-- not impose control measures, including state of emergency declarations.

-- consider dropping recommendation to wear face masks indoors.

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Japan PM Kishida orders COVID-19 classification downgrade in spring