Tokyo, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- Kyoto and Okinawa prefectures will join Tokyo in adopting additional restrictive measures given the increase in Covid-19 cases in their respective territories, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Friday.
The measures include asking restaurants and bars in these areas to close at 8:00 p.m. and limiting the number of people attending mass events to 5,000.
Its application will come into force Monday and last until May 5 in the case of Kyoto (west) and Okinawa (south-west), and until May 11 in Tokyo.
The decision was adopted after assessing “the increase in new infections and the situation of the health system,” Suga said at the end of the meeting with the committee of experts that advises the government on the management of the pandemic.
The prime minister urged the population of the areas affected by the new restrictions to avoid unnecessary or non-urgent travel. The country does not have legal mechanisms to decree a lockdown, so none has been enforced, since the pandemic began.
Tokyo, which will host the Olympics in less than four months, has registered more than 500 cases a day since Wednesday, the highest since February. The worsening of the spread is recorded just about two weeks after the second state of emergency declared in the country was completely lifted.
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said the capital is “in a difficult situation” and asked the government Thursday to declare an alert in the city and adopt additional measures in the face of the Golden Week holiday period, which sees the country’s highest tourist activity.
Both Koike and Suga spoke of the alarming increase in infections with strains containing the N501Y mutation, common in the British and South African, and asked the population to limit their movements.
New measures are included within the legal reform approved in February by the government, which allows local authorities to adopt punishable anti-Covid-19 restrictions for the hotel industry during a state of emergency.
Several cities in Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi began to apply these measures Monday and the government does not rule out allowing their application in more areas, such as Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures, adjacent to Tokyo, if their situation worsens. EFE-EPA