Following yesterday’s request made by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike to implement stronger Covid-19 restrictions in the capital, the central government has officially approved ‘quasi-emergency’ measures. As reported by The Japan Times, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga authorised the stricter measures today (April 9) as coronavirus cases continue to climb following the end of the recent state of emergency.
The so-called ‘quasi-emergency’ measures – similar to those in place during the recent state of emergency – will take effect on Monday April 12. The Tokyo government has yet to announce specific restrictions, but the new rules include the option for a governor to request venues such as bars and restaurants to close by 8pm in particular areas.
The quasi-emergency measures will affect all the 23 central wards and six cities that make up the Tokyo metropolis. The restrictions are scheduled to run through Golden Week until May 11.
Meanwhile, Kyoto and nine cities in Okinawa prefecture (Ginowan, Itoman, Nago, Naha, Nanjo, Okinawa, Tomigusuku, Urasoe and Uruma) will also be subject to quasi-emergency measures until May 5.
Businesses that don't comply with early closure requests could be faced with a fine of up to ¥200,000, while those who follow the rules will be given financial compensation.
As of Friday April 9, the capital saw a total of 537 new coronavirus cases. This follows a high of 555 new infections on Wednesday April 7, the highest number reported since early February.
Earlier this week, Osaka prefecture declared a medical state of emergency following a record high of 878 new cases. Due to the spike in cases in Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi, the three prefectures are already under quasi-emergency measures that will stay in effect until May 5.
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