Prefectural schools in Okinawa close for two weeks from June 7 as Covid-19 measure: request for closure of Elementary and Junior High Schools as well

Prefectural schools in Okinawa close for two weeks from June 7 as Covid-19 measure: request for closure of Elementary and Junior High Schools as well

Governor Denny Tamaki announces that the 83 prefectural schools in Okinawa will be closed (night of June 3, photograph by representative)

June 4, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo


On June 3, the Novel Coronavirus Task Force of Okinawa held a meeting and announced that it had been decided on a prefectural level to, as a rule, close prefectural schools for two weeks from June 7-20. On June 4, an online meeting will be held to hear the opinions of local government officials and to ask elementary and junior high schools to also observe the closure. Large commercial facilities with a total floor area of more than 1000 square meters are asked to close on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning on June 5. All events, regardless of scale or location, are asked to postpone or cancel.


Since the nation-wide school closures in the spring of last year, Okinawa is the only prefecture to make the decision to close all prefectural schools. Some towns and cities oppose the measure, so there remains uncertainty as to whether all elementary and junior high schools will also close.


As far as daycare, with the exception of those working in healthcare or other services necessary for daily life, parents and guardians are asked to care for children at home and refrain from sending them to daycare.

Club activities will also be halted with the closure of prefectural schools. Any competitions in Okinawa scheduled during the closure period will be cancelled. Officials are working with the prefectural high school athletic association to come up with a solution for Kyushu tournaments. High school baseball teams that were preparing for preliminaries to be held in other prefectures in advance of this summer’s Koshien will also be subject to the halt in club activities until June 20.


Governor Denny Tamaki held a press conference on the night of June 3. “If we don’t take these steps now, we will face a serious crisis that could bring about the collapse of our healthcare infrastructure,” he explained, asking for understanding and cooperation from residents of Okinawa in reducing their activities by 70%.

Restaurants are asked not to sell alcohol and to reduce their hours of operation. Tamaki indicated plans to make restaurants that cooperate from June 7, including restaurants that have not complied before, eligible for grants for cooperating.

Companies are asked to reduce the number meetings, explanatory meetings, and other business activities by 70%. In addition, the government of Okinawa is calling on businesses to allow workers to take the necessary time of in order to care for children home from school during the closure period. To discourage residents from going out, it is asked that the streetlights in shopping areas be turned off at 8 p.m.


(English translation by T&CT and Ellen Huntley)


Go to Japanese


Previous Article:
Next Article:

[Similar Articles]