Three prefectures neighboring Tokyo have decided to ask restaurants and bars in areas under coronavirus quasi-emergency measures to refrain from serving alcoholic beverages.

The requests are intended to prevent an influx of people into the three prefectures — Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama — during the Golden Week holiday period between the end of this month and early May, after venues serving alcohol in Tokyo were asked to suspend operations under the fresh virus state of emergency there. That emergency declaration runs from Sunday to May 11. The 17-day emergency will also cover Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures.

At meetings of their respective coronavirus task forces, the Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectural governments decided Saturday to increase the number of municipalities on their quasi-emergency lists from Wednesday, putting the requests in place until May 11.

Payouts worth ¥40,000 to ¥100,000 will be provided per day per shop to small facilities accepting the requests, while up to ¥200,000 will be paid to compliant facilities run by large companies.

Chiba Gov. Toshihito Kumagai speaks during a news conference Saturday in the city of Chiba. | KYODO
Chiba Gov. Toshihito Kumagai speaks during a news conference Saturday in the city of Chiba. | KYODO

In Chiba Prefecture, the request will be made to shops in 12 cities under the quasi-emergency measures, including seven set to fall under the status — Noda, Narashino, Nagareyama, Yachiyo, Abiko, Kamagaya and the city of Chiba, the prefectural capital.

Chiba Gov. Toshihito Kumagai urged the public to abide by the request Saturday.

“We’ll do our best so that we can end it on May 11 as planned,” he said.

In Kanagawa Prefecture, the request will cover nine cities. Six of them — Kamakura, Atsugi, Yamato, Ebina, Zama and Ayase — will be added to the quasi-emergency list from Wednesday.

Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa asked people outside the prefecture to refrain from visiting during the Golden Week holiday period.

Saitama Prefecture will additionally put 13 municipalities, including the cities of Kawagoe and Tokorozawa, in under the quasi-emergency measures, with the total number of municipalities under the status rising to 15.

“People tend to talk loudly and take off their face masks if they drink alcoholic beverages,” Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ono told a news conference. “We want to stop such risky behavior.”

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