Covid-19 cases in Japan hit record amid holiday travel

Covid-19 cases in Japan hit record amid holiday travel

Fears are growing in the land of the rising sun about a surge in coronavirus cases as airports and restaurants see crowds

The National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, is seen past a visitor wearing a protective face mask amid the coronavirus disease. Credit: Reuters Photo

The daily tally of confirmed coronavirus cases in Japan hit a record for the fourth straight day at 2,508, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Japan has had fewer than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths so far, avoiding the toll of harder hit nations. But fears are growing about another surge.

A flurry of criticism from opposition legislators and the public have slammed the government for being too slow in halting its "GoTo" tourism campaign, which encouraged travel and dining out with discounts.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday scrapped the campaign, but only after many people had already made travel reservations for a three-day Thanksgiving weekend in Japan.

Airports and restaurants have been packed.

Some say the government should have offered to pay for cancellations, or stepped up PCR testing instead if the goal is to keep the economy going amid the pandemic.

Tutorials are circulating online on the proper way to eat and drink at restaurants while wearing masks.