Japan govt. to revise anti-coronavirus guidelines

NHK has learned the details of a draft of the Japanese government's new anti-coronavirus guidelines. The government is expected to adopt them on Thursday to coincide with a planned declaration of a state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures.

The guidelines would be revised for the first time since the government lifted the previous state of emergency over the pandemic on May 25.

The draft of revised guidelines says the prime minister would make a comprehensive decision on whether to declare a state of emergency after weighing opinions of an advisory expert panel.

The draft also outlines arrangements to be made in areas covered by a state of emergency.

The government would urge people to refrain from unnecessary outings after 8 p.m. in the areas.

Dining establishments would be asked to close by 8 p.m. and sell alcohol only between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The draft says the government would make public the names of businesses that do not comply with the requests without justifiable reasons.

The government would support local governments that pay subsidies to restaurants and bars that heed the requests.

The draft says businesses would be asked to promote telework and shift work to achieve the goal of reducing the number of employees in offices by 70 percent.

They would also be asked to curtail work after 8 p.m. unless it is necessary in order to continue their operations.

The draft says the government would not request a temporary closure of schools. But it would ask for anti-infection measures to be taken thoroughly.