Japan Coronavirus Emergency Expanded to 4 More Prefectures

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government Monday expanded its novel coronavirus state of emergency, which has been in place in Tokyo and the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, to three prefectures neighboring Tokyo--Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba--and the western prefecture of Osaka.

Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa and Osaka had been in a pre-emergency stage over the epidemic until Sunday. The state of emergency for the six prefectures will last until Aug. 31. The emergency for Tokyo and Okinawa was earlier planned to end Aug. 22.

On Monday, the government also put five prefectures in a pre-emergency stage that will be effective until the end of August. The five are Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, Ishikawa in central Japan, Kyoto and Hyogo in western Japan, and Fukuoka in southwestern Japan.

Eating and drinking establishments in state of emergency and pre-emergency areas are requested to close by 8 p.m. Facilities in state of emergency areas are banned from serving alcoholic beverages. In pre-emergency areas, the serving of alcohol is prohibited in principle, but is allowed until 7 p.m. on condition of certain infection prevention measures being in place only if new infection cases are on a declining trend.

Local government officials are expected to visit eating and drinking facilities more frequently to make sure that they follow the requests related to operating hours and alcohol. People will continue to be asked to refrain from drinking alcohol on streets and at places such as parks.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press