Government expert panel presents guidelines on “new social behavior”

The Japanese government’s expert panel on coronavirus policy is urging the public to get accustomed to what it calls “new social behavior.” As a number of regions in the country start to ease restrictions, the panel has come up with a set of guidelines to help keep the number of infections low and prevent a resurgence of the virus.

Basic measures

1) Maintain physical distance from other people.
2) Wear a mask.
3) Wash your hands.

  • Maintain a distance of at least one meter (two when possible) between other people.
  • When going out, opt for outdoor activities. Try to avoid indoor venues and stores.
  • Avoid standing in front of others when having a conversation.
  • When outside of your home, wear a mask when indoors or having a conversation, even if you have no symptoms.
  • Wash your hands with soap for at lease 30 seconds as soon as you get home. Wash your face. Change your cloths and take a shower as soon as possible.

※It is especially important to be aware of your condition when meeting with high-risk people, such as those with chronic illnesses and the elderly.

Preventive measures for travel

  • Avoid traveling to and from regions where cases are still growing.
  • Avoid traveling back to your hometown. Try to refrain from traveling entirely; only go on business trips when necessary.
  • Take notes on where you go and who you meet in case you get infected.
  • Before traveling, be aware of the situation regarding the virus where you live and where you plan to go.

Daily preventive measures

  • Frequently wash and sanitize your hands.
  • Adhere to coughing etiquette. Cover your mouth.
  • Always keep rooms ventilated.
  • Maintain proper physical distance from other people.
  • Avoid closed, crowded, and close-contact settings.
  • Monitor your condition. Take your temperature every morning. Rest at home if you have a fever or are displaying symptoms of cold.

Everyday guidelines


  • Shop online when possible.
  • Visit stores when they aren’t crowded. Go by yourself or in a small group.
  • Pay cashless so you avoid contact with the cashier.
  • Make a list of what you need beforehand in order to minimize your time in the store.
  • Avoid touching items on display, such as samples.
  • Maintain physical distance when in line.

Public Transportation

  • Refrain from talking.
  • Avoid peak hours.
  • Walk or ride a bike when possible.


  • Order takeout or delivery.
  • Sit outside if possible.
  • Prepare individual portions. Don’t make large dishes for people to share.
  • Sit side-by-side, not facing each other.
  • Don’t talk as much as usual. Focus on eating.
  • Don’t pour drinks for other people. Don’t share glasses or silverware.

Entertainment, Sports etc

  • Visit parks when they aren’t crowded.
  • Exercise at home.
  • Maintain proper distances when jogging with others. Do so in a small group.

Parties and ceremonies

  • Avoid dining in large groups.
  • Don’t participate if you have a fever or are displaying cold symptoms.

At work

  • Work from home or arrange with colleagues to stagger hours at the office.
  • Work in spacious rooms.
  • Hold online meetings. Exchange business cards online.
  • Ventilate rooms and wear masks when having in-person meetings.

The panel has also called on various industries to come up with their own guidelines. It suggests that dining establishments and retail outlets, among other businesses, should deny entry to those with suspected symptoms and frequently disinfect their facilities.