Japan and Hong Kong closed their elementary, junior-high and high schools. Governments want to protect children from the COVID-19 coronavirus. Schools in Japan will stay closed until April the 8th; children in Hong Kong will return to school on April the 20th at the earliest. Parents are worried about the school closures. Parents have to think about how to care for children. Grandparents will look after some children while their parents go to work. Many children have no grandparents or extended family who live nearby. Parents may have to pay for childcare fees.
Japan's Prime Minister shut the schools after meeting Japan's anti-virus task force. The next two weeks are important to control the spread of COVID-19. He wants to lower the risk of children and teachers getting infected through gathering together. The government will ask companies to make it easier for parents to take time off work to look after children. An angry mother said: "I wonder if the government thinks it is OK to leave children at home alone." She asked: "What's the point of closing schools if parents are still commuting in packed trains?"