Before COVID, Japan had a reputation for wearing masks in public, but this practice is no longer required.
When COVID-19 transitions from a pandemic to an endemic condition, certain significant changes will occur in Japan in the next weeks and months. Recently, the government announced that it would relax its rules on mask use in places like public transit and educational institutions.
Mask regulations for airlines will also be loosened, though this change won’t take effect right away.
from specifications to suggestions
On February 11th, the Japanese government declared that COVID-19 regulations would be significantly loosened as of Sunday, March 13th. As a result, mask regulations on public transportation and in schools will be reduced to simple recommendations – especially during periods of congestion and crowding.
According to Kyodo News, the government is relegating COVID-19 to the same legal category as common infectious disorders like the seasonal flu. On May 8th, this lowering will become legally binding, making it possible for airlines to discontinue mask requirements.
According to The Japan Times, from May 8th, passenger mask wearing will become a “personal decision” on all national airlines, including Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. Now, the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan requires that all passengers — with the exception of newborns — wear masks and keep their voices down as much as possible when flying.
Masks must be worn at all times at airport check-in desks, security screening areas, airport lounges, and aboard all planes, according to the Japan Airlines website at the moment. It is also clearly mentioned by the carrier to “refrain[ from] superfluous talk.” Japanese culture has undergone a less drastic transformation
It may be said that Japan encountered less resistance to demands and requests to wear face masks in public spaces and onboard aircraft, despite the fact that there were quite a few incidents related to the inflight mask mandate throughout 2020, 2021, and even 2022 throughout the world.
This is because it was already a common practice in the nation for people to wear masks out in public. According to Online Japan, Japanese people are used to using masks to prevent spreading infections to others. In addition, a lot of people cover their faces in public even though they feel well.
The fact that many locals have hay fever or seasonal/environmental allergies and that wearing a mask lessens the effects of these reactions may be one explanation for this.
Despite the fact that many Japanese people may have been used to wearing masks in public areas before COVID, the nation wasn’t exempt from occurrences using masks on airplanes. According to Nippon.com, a male passenger on a Peach Aviation flight from Kushiro to Kansai in September 2020 had to make an unforeseen detour because he refused to wear a face mask.
After being given a warning notice and again being told to wear a mask, the passenger started shouting. The crew had to stop at Niigata Airport unexpectedly because of the shouting in order to remove the passenger. one of the last
Japan is one of the last significant nations to abolish mask requirements for use in aircraft. In the US, a federal law requiring masks on planes was repealed in the early months of 2022. The prerequisite was dropped in India in November 2022. Southwest Airlines immediately saw a decrease in intrusions due to the shift in the United States (and likely for many other carriers as well).