Photo/Illutration The Go To Shopping Street program, designed to support businesses, will be suspended from Dec. 28 through Jan. 11. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Japan is temporarily suspending its Go To Event and Go To Shopping Street campaigns from Dec. 28 to Jan. 11 due to a surge in novel coronavirus infections, the government announced on Dec. 16.

The Go To Event campaign is a government-subsidized program to support event operators amid the pandemic, while the Go To Shopping Street campaign is a similar program to help stores located along shopping streets.

The government has already decided to halt its Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign over the same period, but it decided to move up the suspension period for trips to Hiroshima over soaring COVID-19 cases there.

If people purchase tickets under the Go To Event program, they receive a 20 percent discount or coupon with the upper limit set at 2,000 yen per ticket.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Go To Event program will not cover tickets sold on or after Dec. 23 for events held during the suspension period from Dec. 28 through Jan. 11.
But the program will still cover tickets that have already been purchased, along with tickets for online events.

As for the Go To Shopping Street program, subsidized events held on shopping streets during the suspension period will have to be postponed or canceled.

New reservations under the Go To Travel program have been suspended starting from Dec. 16 for trips to Hiroshima city, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Existing reservations will not be covered by the program if a person’s date of departure is on or after Dec. 24.

Hiroshima residents have also been urged to refrain from traveling.

If a person applies by Dec. 26 to cancel a trip booked to or from Hiroshima for the period lasting up until Dec. 27, they will not need to pay a cancellation fee. Travel business operators will be compensated for 35 percent of fees for trip cancellations.

(This article was written by Satoshi Shinden and Shun Niekawa.)