Tokyo’s new Covid emergency decree to last throughout Olympics

Tokyo, Jul 12 (EFE).- A new state of emergency came into effect in the city of Tokyo on Monday that will remain in place throughout the duration of the upcoming Olympic Games.

The emergency, which comes amid surging Covid-19 cases and will last in principle until Aug. 22, is aimed at restricting the movement of people in the capital over summer and the sporting event.

No spectators will be allowed into the city’s stadiums or at most of venues for competitions throughout the rest of the archipelago as a result of the emergency.

The competitions of the Tokyo Olympics, the opening ceremony of which is scheduled for July 23, will be held in nine prefectures of the country including Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Fukushima, Hokkaido, Shizuoka, Ibaraki and Miyagi.

While the first six have said that they will not allow any spectators, the other three will adhere to the capacity limit of a few thousand fans as set by the authorities.

The state of emergency in Japan does not entail a lockdown of the population so there was normal movement of people on public transport on Monday morning.

The measure mainly imposes restrictions on the hospitality industry, which is prohibited from serving alcohol and urged to close earlier, at 8 pm.

There is also a limit on the number of spectators at large events such as concerts and sports competitions, with a cap on attendance at 5,000 people or half of the venue’s capacity, whichever is less.

Although the prefectures surrounding Tokyo are not affected by the state of emergency, they have imposed some restrictions that will also have an impact on the Olympic Games.

This is the fourth state of emergency declared by Japan since the start of the pandemic.

The first was declared in April 2020, followed by a second in January. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a third state of emergency in April that lasted until the end of June.

The authorities were expected to maintain certain restrictions during the Olympics, without declaring the maximum alert, but a considerable increase in infections in the capital region due to the spread of more contagious coronavirus strains, including the Delta variant, led to the declaration of the new state of emergency. EFE


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