Tokyo continues with earlier closing times for F&B businesses

Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures are mandating food-and-beverage businesses to close earlier to reduce the risk of a rebound of pandemic cases.
By: | March 29, 2021

The governor of Tokyo Yurike Koike and governors of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures have reached a consensus, in a virtual meeting, to continue with the current regulation to ask restaurants and similar establishments to close by 9 pm until April 21. F&B businesses will also continue with the practice to stop serving alcohol by 8 pm. 

To help these businesses cope with lower revenues due the shortened opening hours, the four governors have decided to maintain the daily 40,000-yen (US$367) subsidies for restaurants and bars which comply with the rules. 

This decision comes in the wake of 420 confirmed new coronavirus cases last Wednesday in Tokyo, hitting the 400-level for the first time in a week. 

The capital city has seen the number of daily infections trending slightly upward since mid-March, with the rolling seven-day average of new cases hovering at around 300. 

The number of daily cases in the other three prefectures have also breached the three-digit mark multiple times in the past week.  

Other regions in the country are also seeing increases in daily coronavirus cases. Miyagi Prefecture in Japan’s northeast reported 171 confirmed cases last Wednesday – a record high for a single day. 

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In Osaka prefecture, 262 new infections were reported, surpassing 200 for the first time since February 5. 

Japan Medical Association head Toshio Nakagawa said, “At this rate, there is a strong concern that (infections) will rebound.” He added that strong anti-virus measures should be in place ahead of a potential “fourth wave”, reported Japan Today.