Serving of Alcohol Seen Suspended under Fresh Emergency

Politics

Tokyo, April 22 (Jiji Press)--The serving of alcoholic drinks at eating and drinking establishments is likely to be suspended under a new COVID-19 state of emergency set to be declared for Tokyo and three western prefectures, it was learned Thursday.

The possible suspension is among measures being considered by the Japanese government and the governments of Tokyo and the three prefectures--Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, informed sources said.

They are also looking at possible closure requests for large commercial facilities, such as department stores, shopping malls and theme parks, with a view to curbing crowds during the Golden Week holiday period from next week to early May. Movie theaters may be asked to shorten operating hours, while authorities are expected to request eating and drinking establishments to close by 8 p.m., according to the sources.

The existing program to compensate restaurants and bars for meeting requests to cut opening hours is expected to be expanded to support businesses to be affected by new measures under the state of emergency over the novel coronavirus.

The central government is slated to decide the declaration of the state of emergency at Friday's meeting of its COVID-19 response headquarters.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press