on May 26 2023
【Announcement from Fukuoka City: May 8, 2023】 What will happen after COVID-19 is categorized as a Class 5 disease?
COVID-19 has been downgraded to a Class 5 category-disease under the Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases. This is the same level as the seasonal flu. This change came into effect on Monday May 8, 2023. The following section explains what will be different after the classification of COVID-19 is lowered.
When you have symptoms such as a fever:
1. Medical institution
- In addition to the medical institutions that have been treating COVID-19, the government will gradually shift to a wider range of medical institutions to treat the disease.
- Contact your doctor before you visit them if you have symptoms such as a fever.
- If you are unsure of which medical institution to visit, call the COVID-19 Multilingual Hotline or visit the search site for Fukuoka outpatient clinics that treat fevers.
- Search Fukuoka outpatient clinics that treat fevers (Japanese only)
- Fukuoka City COVID-19 Multilingual Hotline
050-3665-7980 or 050-3629-0353 (open 24 hours, Japanese only)
092-687-5357 (open 24 hours, supports 20 languages)
- Information for visiting medical facilities and taking COVID-19 tests (Japanese only)
2. COVID-19 tests, treatment and hospitalization
Until now, COVID-related medical expenses were fully covered by public funds. From now, however, you will have to pay in the same way as any other medical care. Some exceptions will apply.
- Testing: You have to pay for COVID-19 tests.
- Outpatient treatment: You have to pay for your treatment.
*Note that you can still receive the following seven COVID-19 medicines for free until the end of September.
*Seven medicines for COVID-19: Lagevrio (specially approved or urgently approved oral medicine), Paxlovid, Xocova, Veklury (IV medicine), Xevudy (NAb medicine), Ronapreve, and Evusheld
- Hospitalization: Up to 20,000 yen of your medical payments will be subsidized when you apply for the high-cost medical expense benefit. You will still have to cover other costs such as meals.
*Note that you can still receive the seven COVID-19 medicines for free until the end of September.
3. Medical care
If you have tested positive:
The public health center will no longer contact you or ask you to monitor your health.
- Food or any other items are no longer delivered to you at home.
- COVID-19 isolation facilities will be closed.
- The national government no longer requests you to stay at home, but it still recommends you do the following:
① Refrain from going out for 6 days including the day of onset of your symptoms. If you still have symptoms on day 5 (with the day of onset being counted as day 0), refrain from going out until the symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours.
Note that, on average, viral emission is very high during the first 3 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. It decreases significantly after 5 days, so the risk of infecting others is particularly high during the first 5 days after the onset.
② Until 10 days have passed since the onset of your COVID-19 symptoms, take care not to pass the virus on to others by wearing a non-woven mask and avoiding contact with high-risk individuals such as the elderly. This is because you might still emit viral particles to infect others during this period.
*If you have no symptoms, “day 0” is the day when you took your test.
*If you need to go out during the period that you are recommended to stay inside, make sure that you do not have symptoms and you wear a mask.
*Call the Fukuoka City COVID-19 Multilingual Hotline if you have a fever or if your conditions deteriorate rapidly.
If someone you live with, such as a family member, has tested positive:
You are no longer classed as a close contact, nor are you asked to self-isolate.
- If possible, stay in separate rooms, and ensure that the infected person is cared for by as few people in your household as possible.
- If you absolutely must go out, please pay attention to your health, especially for a period of five days, with day 0 being the day when the person you live with started having COVID-19 symptoms. During this period, take preventative measures such as regular hand washing and thorough ventilation. You must wear a mask and avoid contact with high-risk individuals such as the elderly.
Q&A on medical care (Japanese only)
Taking basic preventative measures
- The Basic Response Policy and Industry-specific Guidelines are no longer in effect as of May 8, 2023, following the change to the COVID-19 disease classification status.
- Choice and decision of individuals and businesses must be respected in principle in regard to taking basic infection preventative measures in everyday life.
- There is no requirement, but individuals and businesses are asked to make voluntary decisions and implement them by referring to relevant information provided by the national government. For information that is relevant when making decisions regarding basic preventative measures, refer to the following Cabinet Secretariat websites.
- Principles of basic preventative measures after the COVID-19 disease classification status has been downgraded (Cabinet Secretariat website) (Japanese only)
- Industry-specific guidelines (for after the COVID-19 disease classification status has been downgraded)(Cabinet Secretariat website) (Japanese only)
- Our approach for monitoring the spread of COVID-19 will change from notifiable disease surveillance to sentinel surveillance where only certain healthcare organizations will report the number of cases. (The number of cases was published daily, but will be published weekly from now on.)
- Test kits are no longer distributed and the positive person registration center will be closed.
- The prefecture’s free testing programme for people with no symptoms will end.
- COVID-19 home care certificate is no longer issued.