Nikkei wrote on Saturday that smartphone tracking data points to the absence of a significant decline in the number of people out and about in city centers, near major train stations, and popular tourism spots in the past two weeks. The paper conjectured that many people have been ignoring the repeated requests by GOJ officials and public health experts to avoid nonessential outings. Beginning on Nov. 25, Prime Minister Suga and others have been urging the public to stay home as much as possible on the grounds that the “next three weeks will be critical” for stemming the spike in infections. As the number of new cases has continued to climb in most prefectures, the paper interpreted the data as suggesting that most people are “tired of exercising restraint.”
Other papers ran similar stories, with Sankei saying that according to smartphone tracking data, the number of travelers to the cities of Sapporo and Osaka has plummeted, attributing the drop to the GOJ’s decision to exclude trips to the two regions from the “Go To Travel” program.