Tokyo-Area Restaurants May Be Asked to Close 2 Hours Early
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Tokyo, Jan. 3 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa are considering asking restaurants to close by 8 p.m., compared with the currently requested closure time of 10 p.m., amid the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, informed sources said Sunday.
They are also considering having the request to shorten business hours cover all restaurants, the sources said. Currently, only restaurants serving alcohol and karaoke parlors are covered by such a request.
In the Tokyo metropolitan area, the COVID-19 outbreak is showing no sign of abating during the year-end and New Year holiday period, putting medical systems in the region under strain.
To prevent the virus from spreading further, Tokyo and the three prefectures decided to cooperate in asking restaurants to close two hours early. They also plan to keep in step with each other regarding the timing and the duration of making the two-hour shortening request, the sources said.
On Saturday, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and the governors of the three prefectures met with economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of the government’s coronavirus responses, to request an emergency declaration by the state over the coronavirus epidemic. At the meeting, Nishimura asked the governors to urge restaurants in respective prefectures to close by 8 p.m.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]