• Kyodo

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Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura requested Thursday that bars and restaurants serving alcohol in Nagoya’s main nightlife entertainment districts shorten their business hours for about three weeks from this weekend, amid a recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

From Sunday through Dec. 18, nightlife establishments such as karaoke bars, pubs and clubs in the Nishiki and Sakae districts of Nagoya’s Naka Ward will be asked to close by 9 p.m.

The prefecture will provide up to ¥400,000 in subsidies for operators that comply with the request, he said.

Omura also urged Aichi residents to refrain from making nonessential trips to virus hot spots such as Hokkaido, the greater Tokyo area and Osaka Prefecture.

Aichi Prefecture will also stop issuing new discount meal coupons under the central government’s Go To Eat campaign until the spread of the virus is under control, he said.

The development comes a day after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government made a similar request, asking restaurants and bars to close by 10 p.m. between Saturday and Dec. 17 in most areas of the capital.

On Thursday, Aichi confirmed 198 new cases of infection with the novel coronavirus, of which 92 were reported in Nagoya, the largest city in central Japan, which has a population of about 2.3 million.

The city’s medical system has remained strained, with some 140 of around 150 hospital beds allocated to COVID-19 patients occupied as of Wednesday.

Shigeru Omi, head of the central government’s panel on virus countermeasures, has said Nagoya is among the cities experiencing a notable increase in virus infections and that movement of people should be restricted in those areas.

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