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Japan may keep COVID-19 state of emergency only in metropolitan areas -- reports

23/02/2021 02:39 PM

TOKYO, Feb. 23  -- Japan may scrap a pandemic-linked state of emergency in six prefectures ahead of schedule, leaving it in place only in metropolitan areas, reported Sputnik news agency, quoting media report on Tuesday.

The state of emergency is currently in place in 10 prefectures until March 7.

According to the Asahi newspaper, it can be canceled by late February in all but four metropolitan areas: Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba.

The government will reportedly decide on Wednesday to convene an expert committee on February 26 to cancel the emergency in Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka by the end of the month.

The governors of Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto agreed at an online meeting earlier on Tuesday to send a proposal to the government to lift the state of emergency ahead of schedule.

The state of emergency involves shorter operating hours for restaurants, movie theaters, entertainment venues and some shops, a ban on public events and switch of 70 per cent of employees to remote work.

Under the current restrictions, schools remain open.




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