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The government is calling on businesses in the seven prefectures under the state of emergency declared to combat the coronavirus to reduce commuting by at least 70 percent.

The government also expanded its request for those residents not to patronize bars and nightclubs to the entire nation.

“Social interactions must be reduced by 80 percent, or at least 70 percent, in order to end the emergency declaration in a month,” Abe said Saturday at a meeting of the government’s coronavirus response headquarters.

“To achieve this, people’s further cooperation is needed,” he said.

The response team was holding its first meeting since Tuesday, when Abe issued the emergency declaration.

“The decrease in commuters has not been sufficient” in the seven prefectures, Abe said, referring to Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

“As a general rule, office work should be done from home, and if commuting is necessary, businesses should reduce the number of commuters by at least 70 percent,” he said.

The decision to expand the scope of the bar and nightclub request came as some in the industry moved outside the emergency areas to find work.

The government is now strongly calling on people to refrain from going out to dine, drink, and indulge in “in-person services” in busy shopping districts, regardless of area.

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