TOKYO — Japan declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three nearby areas on Thursday as coronavirus cases continue to surge, hitting a daily record of 2,447 in the capital.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issued the declaration at the government task force for the coronavirus. It lasts from Friday until Feb. 7 and centers around asking restaurants and bars to close at 8 pm and people to stay home and not mingle in crowds.
The declaration carries no penalties. But it works as a strong request while Japan juggles to keep its economy going.
Shopping malls and schools will remain open. Movie theaters, museums and other events will be asked to reduce attendance. Places that defy the request will be publicized on a list, while those that comply will be eligible for aid, according to officials.
“I am confident we can overcome this, but I must ask all of you endure a restricted life for a while longer,”