Homecoming Visit and Gatherings During the Year-End and New Year Holidays

There are less than ten days left this year. Some people are likely to return home or hold gatherings during the year-end and New Year holidays.

Unfortunately, the third wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic has not yet been tamed. It has even grown increasingly severe. If we return to our hometown at a time like this, the infection risk will increase as there will be occasions to meet or to have meals together with elderly family members and with friends whom we seldom meet. If we join a year-end party or a New Year party, we are inclined to spend quite a long time speaking without a mask while dining, and will have a greatly increased risk of infection.

We are at a crucial time now. NIG members will refrain from returning to hometowns during the year-end and New Year Holidays as much as possible. If it is unavoidably necessary to visit home, we will make sure to wear a mask, disinfect hands, avoid speaking in a loud voice, avoid three conditions of “poor ventilation” “intensive crowds” and “close social distance”, and ventilate closed spaces while on the way to and from home and during the stay. When visiting public facilities, we will take utmost precautions against infection and wear a mask out of doors, too. We will also monitor our daily health condition using the health observation form.

We are going to take a break on the holidays, but there is no break for the novel coronavirus!!

We will consider carefully whether it is worth the risk to go ahead with homecoming/gathering plans and act cautiously wherever possible. Let’s greet the coming year healthily and soundly.

Best regards,
Fumio Hanaoka
Director-General (Head of the Department of Genetics)
National Institute of Genetics

December 23, 2020

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