Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic
This page describes the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on 48 Groups and Sakamichi Series.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Effect on Groups
- 2.1 AKB48
- 2.2 SKE48
- 2.3 NMB48
- 2.4 HKT48
- 2.5 STU48
- 2.6 JKT48
- 2.7 BNK48
- 2.8 MNL48
- 2.9 SGO48
- 2.10 AKB48 Team TP
- 2.11 AKB48 Team SH
- 2.12 DEL48
- 2.13 MUB48
- 2.14 Nogizaka46
- 2.15 Keyakizaka46 → Sakurazaka46
- 2.16 Hinatazaka46
- 2.17 Yoshimotozaka46
- 2.18 SNH48
- 2.19 GNZ48
- 2.20 BEJ48
- 2.21 CKG48
- 3 Charity
- 4 COVID-19 Cases
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Useful links
COVID-19 has impacted the majority of the entertainment world, 48g included. Most of the groups have had to close their theaters temporarily, pause or modify their handshakes, and postpone releases and events. Some groups even underwent major changes to their line-up.
The first impact of COVID-19 was with in the SNH48 Group on January-February 2020 when the first quarantines in the world (specifically in China's main cities) were announced, the theaters closed, as well as their group activities were cancelled. Over time, they began to do only online performance and later they gradually opened their theaters without an audience and then with the public, except for the BEJ48 Theater which was permanently closed. At same time AKB48 Team SH also was impacted, the shonichi of their 1st stage being postponed.
Then it spread throughout the world, with Japan being one of the first countries affected. This directly affected the AKB48 Group, who were forced to cancel performances at their theaters.
Effect on Groups
On December 8, 2019, Minegishi Minami announced her graduation during AKB48's 14th anniversary. Her graduation concert was scheduled for April 2, 2020 at Yokohama Arena, but was postponed due to COVID-19. On March 29, 2021, the concert was announced for May 22nd at PIA Arena MM.
Between February 22 and 28, 2020, AKB48 was scheduled to hold their New Unit Live Matsuri at Shibuya Stream Hall, in which eight concert units, tentatively named A ~ H, would make their debut. On February 26th, the concert for units F, G, and H, were postponed as a safety measure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 26th, they were rescheduled for November 28th and 29th at the AKB48 Theater.
On December 8, 2020, AKB48 announced their Tandoku Concert for January 22-24, 2021 at Tokyo Dome City Hall, to commemorate the group's 15th anniversary. On January 8, the event was cancelled entirely due to extension of the COVID-19 state of emergency; instead, the teams selected songs from their chosen era and performed from their homes as a revamped 2021 Request Hour. On March 29th, a new Tandoku Concert was scheduled for May 23rd at PIA Arena MM, the day after Minegishi Minami's postponed graduation concert.
Between July 29 and August 3, 2021, 10 members of Team 8 and one member of Team B tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the Fresh Member Concert on August 7 and Eito Day (Team 8's Anniversary Concert) on August 8 were cancelled. In November, they rescheduled these concerts for January 12th and 13th, 2022: Team 8 Cutie Party, Fresh Concert and Team 8 Foxy Party.
Between January 30th and March 3rd, 2022, 4 members tested positive and a handful of others had to enter self-isolation due to being close contacts with someone who had tested positive. As a result, AKB48 Spring Concert 2022 "Kimi ga Omou Yori, Kimi wa Sugoi" had to be cancelled. It would have consisted of 3 concerts (Old Teams Final Concert, Coupling Song Request Hour and New Teams First Concert). Iriyama Anna, Kato Rena, and Miyazaki Miho's graduation ceremonies and the start date of the AKB48 16th Anniversary Team Shuffle were postponed. The graduation ceremonies were held at the AKB48 LIVE SHOW ~AKBINGO! The Final Sayonara Mouri-san~. The team shuffle came into effect on April 19, 2022.
Between August 1 and 3, 2021, various members of Team 8 tested positive for COVID-19. Due to their kennin positions in Team 4 and Team A especially, stages were momentarily suspended for these two teams.
Between January 30 and February 3, 2022, various members of different teams tested positive for COVID-19. Theater performances were put on hold for a week.
On April 28, 2022, 6 out of 8 members participating in the Team K Saka Agari shonichi performance 3 days before tested positive, and the other 2 entered self-isolation. Because of this, Team K performances as well as the Boku no Taiyou performances were cancelled for a week.
Music producer EZAKI MASARU died on August 31, 2021 following a coronavirus infection, it was announced on his official homepage on Sept. 6. Ezaki was in his 50s, and had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
On October 5, 2019, Takayanagi Akane announced her graduation from SKE48. Her graduation concert was scheduled for 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. On April 10th, 2021, her graduation concert was held with an audience less than 50% of the venue's capacity.
On December 15, 2019, Kataoka Narumi annouced her graduation from the group. Her graduation ceremony was scheduled for April 2, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. In November, the ceremony was announced for December 31st. This date was postponed again after SKE48 temporarily halted theater performances, following Fukushi Nao's positive COVID-19 case on December 27th. Her graduation ceremony was held on January 20, 2021.
On February 7, 2020, Matsui Jurina announced her graduation from the group. Her graduation concert was scheduled for September 26th and 27th at Nippon Gaishi Hall and her farewell stage for October 5th at SKE48 Theater, but both were eventually postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 11th, 2021, her graduation concert was held with an audience less than 50% of the venue's capacity.
SKE48 cancelled their appearance at JAM EXPO 2020-2021 in Yokohama Arena, following several confirmed cases among members. They were scheduled to appear on August 27, 2021.
SKE48 cancelled their SKE48 13th Anniversary Concert in Nippon Gaishi Hall. They were scheduled to perform on September 25th and 26th, 2021.
All theater performances between August 27 and September 5, 2021 were cancelled following several confirmed cases among SKE48 members.
On January 2022, all stage performances are suspended due to Omicron cases.
From the end of January 2022, SKE48 change the birthday and graduation performance with talk event (members who were celebrating their birthdays or graduating at that time performed a song in solo)
On March 29, 2020, NMB48 announced their twenty-third single, Datte Datte Datte, for release on May 13th. Although the senbatsu, covers, tracklists, and music video were published in the following weeks, the single was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions; only the title track was released as a digital single on the original date. The single was officially released on August 19th.
On March 2, 2021, Shiroma Miru announced her graduation during the final concert of NAMBATTLE ~Tatakawana NMB Chauyarou!~. Her graduation concert was scheduled for May 29th and 30th at Osaka-Jo Hall, but was postponed due to COVID-19 state of emergency extension. It was rescheduled for August 15th.
NAMBATTLE2 ~Gamushara ni Narana NMB Chauyaro!~ was held between January - March 2022. On March 14th, the fourth round of performances for Team BII Kenkyuusei's group battle was cancelled due to confirmed cases among members. On March 21st, Asao Momoka, Lee Siyeon, and Yoshino Misaki withdrew from the semi-final round of NMB48's game match due to confirmed COVID-19 cases. On March 25th, it was announced that the number of final round judges for Team N vs. Team M group battle will be reduced from five to four.
On February 12, 2022, the new Team N performance was scheduled to be held from this day, but the performance was canceled and the shonichi performance was postponed because the cast members showed symptoms of fever. This same day, three Team M's performances scheduled for February 13-16 were canceled due to the members' infection with the new coronavirus.
On December 31, 2020, HKT48 announced their fourteenth single for release on March 10, 2021, to be performed by two Senbatsu. Two weeks later, the single was postponed due to the COVID-19 state of emergency extension. On March 13th, the single's Senbatsu was announced. On April 14th, the title was revealed to be "Kimi to Doko ka e Ikitai," along with a new release date of May 12th.
HKT48 cancelled their appearance at JAM EXPO 2020-2021 in Yokohama Arena, following several confirmed cases among members. They were scheduled to appear on August 27, 2021.
On March 28, 2020, STU48 announced their fifth single for release on May 27th, to be performed by two Senbatsu: promoted members consisting of 1st Generation and 3rd Draft, and Kenkyuusei members consisting of 2nd Generation. Two weeks later, the single was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. On July 2nd, the title was revealed to be "Omoidaseru Koi wo Shiyou," along with a new release date of September 2nd.
STU48 cancelled their fifth anniversary concert after 13 confirmed cases among members. It was scheduled for May 3, 2022 at Hiroshima Green Arena.
STU48 management announced the group would terminate theater shows on their ship theater. Due to COVID-19 breakout, the theater was closed from February 2020 to June 2020. In the future STU48 will perform their shows on other ships and/or at ports.
On February 2, 2021, management announced that due to the impacts of COVID-19, Team J, Team KIII, Team T, and JKT48 Academy would all be disbanded. Only 33 members would remain in the group, and the ones who remained would no longer be split into teams, simply belonging to JKT48. JKT48 10th Generation members who were removed from the group would be given special permissions in the future to bypass the audition period, should they ever wish to audition again.
BNK48 9th Single Senbatsu Sousenkyo's results were originally supposed to be released on March 22, 2020; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was postponed and revealed online instead of having audiences on April 19, 2020.
On December 26, 2020 the BNK48 Sport Day 2020 was originally determined to this date, but was postponed to April 10, 2021, due to COVID-19.
The MNL48 3rd General Election's results were supposed to be originally released on April 25, 2020; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was postponed and was later revealed online on February 6, 2021.
The 2nd episode of the MNL48 Presents series was changed from I-DOL to Chains due to the production restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Many planned events in 2020 were also cancelled due to the pandemic.
On February 13, 2021 that only the Top 1 to 36 ranking members will be chosen as the official members of MNL48 and the Top 37 to 48 will be the group's trainees.
On December 5, 2021, it was announced that the group would disband after their 3rd year anniversary on December 22nd, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chen Shih-ya's Graduation Concert scheduled for May 14, 2022, has been postponed to July 24 due to the surge of cases in Taiwan.
On 2020, AKB48 Team SH's 1st Stage shonichi was delayed once from February 15 to June 7 due to COVID-19 outbreak in China.
On March 3, 2022 all stage performances were canceled due to the increase in cases in Shanghai, until new notice.
On October 9, 2020, their producer announced indefinite suspension of the group's activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 13, 2022 DEL48 and MUB48 has officially ended, after being previously 'postponed'.
On July 13, 2022 DEL48 and MUB48 has officially ended, after being previously 'postponed'.
On January 6th 2020, Shiraishi Mai announced her graduation from the group. Her graduation concert was scheduled for May 5th-7th at Tokyo Dome, but was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. On October 28th, her graduation concert was held virtually, with an estimated viewership of 680,000.
On February 23rd 2021, the Nogizaka46 9th YEAR BIRTHDAY LIVE was held, although originally scheduled to have a live audience in attendance, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was later changed to an online concert. Later in March and May, each generation had their own BIRTHDAY LIVE online concert, with the 2nd Generation Live being Hori Miona's graduation concert. In late May, the group held the Nogizaka46 Under Live 2021 online as well, being the last live for Ito Junna and Watanabe Miria.
On June 22nd and 23rd 2021, the group resumed in-person concerts with Sa~ Yu~ Ready? Sayuringo Gundan Live／Matsumura Sayuri Graduation Concert. The live was also streamed online.
From July to August 2021, the group went on their yearly summer tour, Nogizaka46 Summer National Tour 2021. Both dates in Fukuoka (August 21 & 22) were streamed online as it was the 10th Anniversary of the group's formation and Ozono Momoko's graduation concert, respectively. However, their final tour dates at Tokyo Dome (September 8 & 9) were postponed due to increased COVID-19 cases. This was to be Takayama Kazumi's graduation concert, so her graduation was postponed indefinitely.
The group's documentary, Bokutachi no Uso to Shinjitsu: Documentary of Keyakizaka46 was originally scheduled to release on April 3, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the release date was postponed until September 6, 2020. The documentary was later released on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 3, 2021.
On April 15th and 15th, 2020, the planned "Keyakizaka46 4th YEAR ANNIVERSARY LIVE" was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Later on May 29th, the planned Keyaki Republic concert for 2020 was also cancelled. However, on July 16th the group held their first online concert with KEYAKIZAKA46 Live Online, but with YOU! where the group announced that they would be rebranding from Keyakizaka46. The estimated total number of viewers reached 300,000. On September 27th, the group held a second online live, KEYAKIZAKA46 Live Online, AEON CARD with YOU!.
On October 12th and 13th, 2020, the group held their final live as Keyakizaka46, Keyakizaka46 THE LAST LIVE, as an online broadcast. In the finale of the second day, they premiered their first song as Sakurazaka46, Nobody's fault. The estimated total number of viewers for both days was 570,000.
On December 8th, 2020, Sakurazaka46 held their first live with their new name: Sakurazaka46 Debut Countdown Live!! The live had no in-person audience, and was instead broadcast live in theaters across Japan. Following the release of their 1st and 2nd Singles, the group held mini online lives where they performed each song on the respective single.
In June 2021, Sakurazaka46 resumed in-person concerts with BACKS LIVE!! and later with W-KEYAKI FES. 2021. However due to the pandemic, the group continues to have online viewing capabilities for these concerts. The in-person concerts also require the audience members to wear a mask at all times and prohibit shouting and fan-calls.
On July 22nd and 24th, 2022, Sakurazaka46 was scheduled to hold two concerts as part of W-KEYAKI FES. 2022. However, several members tested positive for COVID-19 days before the event, and the concerts were cancelled. Fans were refunded for their tickets. The hashtag #いつもありがとう櫻坂46 (“Thank you always Sakurazaka46”) trended on Twitter in response to the cancellation. Sakurazaka46’s sister group Hinatazaka46 continued to perform at the event.
Additionally, Sakurazaka46 has not had any in-person handshake events for their 1st to 3rd Singles. Instead, the group has opted for online "Meet & Greets (ミート&グリート)" through Fortune Music's "fortune meets" app.
Hinatazaka46's seventh single, "Boku Nanka," was originally scheduled to release on May 11, 2022, but was postponed to June 1st after a cluster of members tested positive in early April.
On March, 2020, Hinatazaka46 National Spring Arena Tour 2020 was to be Hinatazaka46's first Arena Tour that was postponed and ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, the tour came to fruition with the online concert, HINATAZAKA46 Live Online, YES! with YOU! ～"22nin" no Ongakutai to Fuugawarina～.
On December 24, 2020, Hinakuri 2020 ～Obake Hotel to 22nin no Santa Claus～ concert was initially planned to be held in Tokyo Dome but was held online due to COVID-19.
Additionally, Hinatazaka46 has not had any in-person handshake events for their 5th to 6th Singles. Instead, the group has opted for online "Meet & Greets (ミート&グリート)" through Fortune Music's "fortune meets" app.
On October 29, 2021, it was announced that the group would suspend its activities from February 2022 and would enter "hibernation".
On August 2, 2021 the management officially announces that the SNH48 8th Senbatsu Election on August 7th will be held online only without an audience due to COVID-19 Delta variant surges in China. They will work with its ticketing partners to issue full refunds to fans who had already purchased offline concert tickets. August 8th and 9th handshake event is being rescheduled to September 11th and 12th.
On January, 2022 the SNH48 REQUEST TIME 8th Edition BEST 50 concert it was finally held on a tv set, it was originally planned for a concert venue. This change was made at the last minute and was due to the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
Due to the strict restrictions in Shanghai, the SNH48 9th Senbatsu Election Concert will be held in Guangzhou for the first time.
On March 10, 2022 all stage performances were canceled due to the increase in cases in Shanghai, until new notice.
Due to the increase in cases and the closure of the theater, Jiang Yun's graduation stage, which was scheduled for March 27, has been postponed until further notice.
Because the theater's closure has been extended into June, 2022, the management designed a new indoor stage for online broadcasts only, with no audience. These broadcasts can only be viewed for a fee. Finally, on June 18, the theater reopened its doors with a performance by Team X, but without audience.
As an expansion on the system that all SNH48 sister groups have used for online shows during the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to discover the various sparks of co-operation among the members, provide fans with a better watching experience, while maintaining the development vitality of GNZ48, GNZ48 implemented the new Class 4 and Class 8 "teams" while retaining the 3 existing teams. In the future, the members will perform either in teams or classes.
All team performances were suspended until June 2021, instead the Class 4 and Class 8 stages were kept. After this, the Team NIII 3rd Stage new shonichi includes some songs with an updated version, known as "Fiona N. (RESTART)"
On August, 2021 some performances were again canceled due to the increase in cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in China.
On February 18, 2022, as two of their members were travelling in the same high speed train carriage with a close contact of COVID-19 recently, GNZ48 will cancel the theater stages scheduled for a week since February 18. On February 22, after all members and staff going through appropriate testing and isolation as necessary, everyone returned with negative results.
On March 13, 2022 all stage performances with audience were canceled due to the increase in cases in Guangzhou, all performances will be online.
On September 4, 2020, the BEJ48's management announced that due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the months-long closure of their theater, Team B, Team E, Team J and Trainee would all be disbanded. Most members from these teams were transferred to SNH48, and the ones who remained would no longer be split into teams, simply belonging to BEJ48.
BEJ48 Theater was officially closed on September 4, 2020, after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From this point on they will make their performances in non-permanent theaters.
On August, 2021 all stages performances were canceled due to the increase in cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
On November, all stages with audience were canceled due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, also the senshuuraku of BEJ48 1st Stage was postponed.
Fan LuYuan's graduation stage was originally scheduled to January 16 but was posponed to 23 due to Omicron variant outbreak.
In August, 2021 all stages performances were canceled due to the increase in cases of the Delta variant in China.
On November, all stages with audience were canceled due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, from that moment all presentations will be online until further notice.
On March 2022, all stage performances were canceled again due to new outbreaks of coronavirus in China.
Some groups released dedicated songs to support all the victims of COVID-19, as well as the volunteers on the frontline of the COVID-19 relief effort.
- AKB48 - Hanareteitemo
- BNK48 - Touch by Heart
- AKB48 Team SH - Dareka no Tame ni & Guang
- CGM48 - Dareka no Tame ni
- Nogizaka46 - Sekaijuu no Rinjin yo
- SNH48 - Píngfán Yǔ Wěidà & The Fire of Youth
List of members who had a positive case of COVID-19.
- Members are listed by the time of their infection, or official announcement of positive test results. The date could be inaccurate.
- Members are arranged in two lists.
- The first list is of members who tested positive while they were active members of the group.
- The second list contains members who tested positive when they were graduated from their respective group.
List of members who tested positive in 2020
List of members who tested positive in 2021
List of members who tested positive in 2022
- On December 4 it was found that 12 Yoshimotozaka46 members were infected with COVID-19 at the performance held at the Yoshimoto Yurakucho Theater on November 27.
- The month of August had the largest number of reported cases to date. A total of 57 cases were confirmed throughout multiple clusters.
- Between July 28 and August 3, the AKB48 management announced that 10 Team 8 members had all been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- From August 9 to 12, several members of HKT48 tested positive for COVID-19.
- Between August 9 and 17, several members of AKB48 tested positive.
- From August 24 to September 2, 14 members of SKE48 are infected with COVID-19.
- From January until February several COVID-19 clusters were reported in AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, JKT48, and Nogizaka46.
- From February 12 to 14, 12 members of NMB48 tested positive for COVID-19.
- In March 2022, several members of NMB48 Team BII Kenkyuusei and Nogizaka46 tested positive for COVID-19.
- From March 12 to 31, 19 members of Nogizaka46 tested positive for COVID-19.
- On April 5th, a majority of Hinatazaka46 members tested positive for COVID-19 following the 3rd Anniversary MEMORIAL LIVE ~3rd Hinatansai~, with 16 cases announced that day. This has been the largest cluster of cases to date.
- Prior to this, 2 other members tested positive, meaning 18 out of 22 members of the group were positive with COVID-19 from late March to early April.
- From April 18 to May 2, several members of SKE48, BNK48, AKB48 Team K and STU48 tested positive for COVID-19.
- On April 28th, 6 members of AKB48 Team K tested positive. All of them had participated in the same stage performance a few days previously.
- On May 1st, 13 members of STU48 are infected with COVID-19. On May 2, two more members join the list.
- From May 12, the first cluster began in AKB48 Team TP since the start of the pandemic, with 11 members who tested positive.
- Between May 30 and June 28, several members of BNK48 tested positive.
- From July 14 several members of SKE48, STU48 and Sakurazaka46 tested positive for COVID-19.
- On July 28, 2 members of AKB48's 17th Generation tested positive for COVID-19. As such, 4 additional members were identified as close contacts and entered a mini hiatus as well, leaving only 5 out of 11 Kenkyuusei active.
- From September 13 to 16, a total of 11 CGM48 members tested positive for COVID-19.
- 2022 has been the year with the most confirmed cases.
- On August, 2020, Seiji Reina and one NGT48's staff member gave a positive result of the COVID-19 antibody test, therefore, PCR was announced for all members and staff members, with a total of 69 negative results, including Seiji Reina who previously had a positive antibody test result.
- Kato Yuuka was the first active member to be infected twice, in 2020 and 2022 respectively.
- Considering that COVID-19 started in China, no member from AKB48 Team SH and SNH48 Group has been reported as a positive case.