Erik Zünder/Unsplash
Photo: Erik Zünder/Unsplash

Japan considers placing Tokyo under quasi-emergency during the Olympics

Even after the current state of emergency ends, the city may face Covid-19 restrictions for the Tokyo 2020 Games

Written by
Dina Kartit

Since April 25, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo have been under a Covid-19 state of emergency. The measures, which were originally supposed to be lifted on May 11, have been extended twice and the emergency expanded to include Aichi, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Okayama, Hiroshima and Okinawa. 

The state of emergency is currently set to end for all ten prefectures on June 20, but the Japanese government is reportedly now considering moving several of the prefectures – including Tokyo – to quasi-emergency rules after that date.

According to Kyodo News, no official decision has been made yet, but the planned quasi-state of emergency could be in place from June until the end of the Olympics on August 8, or could be lifted and reimposed before the Games begin on July 23.

Under quasi-emergency rules, restaurants and bars will still be asked to limit opening hours but may be allowed to sell alcohol, and there would be lower fines for noncompliance. In addition, governors will be allowed to impose measures in specific areas rather than entire prefectures. 

A group of infectious disease experts is due to reveal this week the health risks possible if the Olympics go ahead as planned. Moreover, the government and the organising committee will decide by the end of June on the maximum number of local spectators allowed at Olympic events.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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