[Update, January 26] Following record-high cases of Covid-19, the Japanese government has decided to widen the quasi-state of emergency to 18 more prefectures. As reported by Kyodo News, the quasi-emergency will be extended the following prefectures: Aomori, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Kagoshima, Kyoto, Nagano, Oita, Okayama, Osaka, Saga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi and Yamagata.
The quasi-state of emergency will go into effect from Thursday January 27 to February 20 for the 18 new areas. The emergency has also been extended until February 20 in Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures. Currently, Tokyo and the 13 prefectures that went into a quasi-emergency along with it (see below) are still set to end their emergency on the originally scheduled date of February 13.
Japan surpassed 60,000 new cases for the first time on Tuesday, recording 62,610 new infections.
[January 19] As the Omicron variant continues to spread across Japan, the government has decided to place 13 prefectures, including Tokyo, under a quasi-state of emergency. Earlier this week, requests were made by the governors of each prefecture for a quasi-emergency designation.
As reported by Kyodo News, the government has decided to declare a quasi-emergency which will stay in place from Friday January 21 until Sunday February 13.
The prefectures to go under the new quasi-state of emergency are:
With the new announcement, there will be a total of 16 prefectures under preventative measures as a quasi-emergency status is already in effect in Hiroshima, Okinawa and Yamaguchi prefectures.
The new measures allow governors of those prefectures to impose restrictions on restaurants and bars including shortened business hours and limiting alcohol service. The Tokyo Metropolitan government has yet to announce specific new requests for businesses.
The national government will also halt the so-called vaccination-testing programme which grants vaccinated people, or those who test negative, exemptions from certain Covid-19 restrictions.
According to The Japan Times, Hyogo, Kyoto and Osaka may follow suit with requests for quasi-emergency as Omicron cases continue to surge there as well.
On Wednesday, Tokyo reported a record 7,377 new Covid-19 infections, while nationwide cases jumped to over 30,000.
This article was originally published on January 19, and updated on January 26.
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