TOKYO, April 9 (Xinhua) — Japan on Friday designated Tokyo and Kyoto and Okinawa prefectures as in need of tighter measures to curb COVID-19 infections amid a resurgence in less than three weeks after a state of emergency was fully lifted.
The prevention measures under the quasi-state of emergency include asking restaurants and bars in densely populated areas to stop operation by 8 p.m., as well as capping attendance of large events at 5,000.
The measures will start on Monday and be effective through May 5 for Kyoto and Okinawa, and May 11 for Tokyo.
“We will prevent local outbreaks from turning into a nationwide one by taking targeted steps quickly and in a focused manner,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said after announcing the decision at a COVID-19 task force meeting.
The new rules go along with a smaller fine for businesses that neglect orders to close early.
The countermeasures are already in effect in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo as well as Miyagi prefecture in northeast Japan, and are set to last through May 5.
Suga also asked residents to refrain from cross-prefectural travels that are not necessary, voicing concerns that highly contagious variants of the COVID-19 may spread during the Golden Week holidays from late April through early May, one of the busiest periods for travel in the country. Enditem