Tokyo, 3 prefectures to launch COVID-19 measures

Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures have decided to put emergency measures in place from Friday through the end of January to curb a surge in coronavirus cases by restricting the movement of people.

During an online conference on Monday, the governors of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa agreed to implement their own measures before the central government declares a state of emergency in these areas.

Tokyo and the three prefectures will call on residents to refrain from non-essential outings after 8 p.m. from Friday until the end of the month.

They will also request drinking establishments to close by 8 p.m. and stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. for a four-day period starting on Friday.

Such restrictions will cover all establishments, regardless of whether they serve alcohol or not, for a 20-day period from January 12 through January 31.

Tokyo and the three prefectures will set respective goals to encourage companies to fully promote telework as well as working from home and staggered working hours, and ask businesses to turn off all illuminations earlier.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said she hopes the metropolis and the three prefectures will work together to curb the movement of people.

She pledged to make utmost efforts in cooperation with the central government and local municipalities.