Japan declares virus emergency measures in Tokyo as Olympics near

Japan declares virus emergency in Tokyo as Olympics near
It is the third time a state of emergency has been declared in Tokyo over the pandemic. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Japan has announced emergency coronavirus measures in the capital Tokyo and three other areas in a bid to curb rising infections. The latest measures are announced just three months before the country is set to host the Olympics.

The government said the new measures – set to last for about two weeks – would be “short and powerful”.

Under the measures, big sporting events will be held without spectators and bars will be required to close.

The Japanese government has insisted that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in July.

On Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the restrictions, saying they would begin on Sunday and remain in place until 11 May.

In addition to Tokyo, the prefectures of Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo will be affected.

It marks the third state of emergency in the country since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Prime Minister Suga said: “I sincerely apologise for causing trouble for many people again. It is feared that contagion in major cities will spread across the whole country if we take no measures.”

Under the restrictions, major commercial facilities like department stores will close, as well as bars, karaoke parlours serving alcohol and restaurants.

Schools will remain open but restaurants that do not serve alcohol are being told to close early, and companies are being asked to make arrangements for people to work from home.

The emergency measures coincide with the Japan’s “Golden Week” holiday, which runs from late April to the first week of May and is the busiest travel period of the year.

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