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The agriculture ministry said Friday that 10 prefectures will temporarily stop sales of meal vouchers under the central government’s Go To Eat program, which is aimed at shoring up demand for dining out, in response to spikes in COVID-19 cases.

Each set of vouchers, worth ¥12,500, is sold for ¥10,000. The 10 prefectures are Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi, Osaka and Hyogo, according to the ministry. The suspension period will vary by prefecture.

Of them, Hokkaido, Saitama, Tokyo and Osaka will ask residents to refrain from using the vouchers, as well as reward points granted to those who reserved restaurants through booking websites under the Go To Eat program.

The ministry had requested prefectural governments to consider suspending sales of the meal vouchers and asking residents to refrain from using vouchers that they have already bought.

Thirty-five of the 37 remaining prefectures of the country will continue selling the vouchers. One of the other two — Aomori Prefecture — will start to sell the vouchers at the beginning of December, as scheduled, becoming the last prefecture to do so, while Okinawa is still considering whether to suspend sales.

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