Japan confirmed a new daily record of over 3,200 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, as Tokyo and several other areas continue to see an unprecedented spike in infections. The capital reported 748 of those cases, the second-highest daily increase on record and the most logged for a Wednesday.

Infections have even touched the top brass of Japan’s armed forces, with eight senior officials of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, including its top two officers, having tested positive.

Fearing further spread of the virus during the new year break, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and her counterparts in three neighboring prefectures on Monday wrote a joint message urging older people and people with underlying health issues — and those living with them — to don masks at home.

Japan to refuse new entries from the U.K. | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN
Japan to refuse new entries from the U.K. | NIPPON TV NEWS 24 JAPAN

Meanwhile, the government announced Wednesday that tighter restrictions on entry from the U.K. will take effect today, due to concerns that the new variant of the coronavirus could creep into Japan and fuel the current third wave of COVID-19.

The immigration authority will ban new entries of foreign nationals who have been in the U.K. in the past 14 days and suspend the exemption of a 14-day self-quarantine measure for short-term business travelers who have returned from Britain, reports Satoshi Sugiyama.

Wednesday’s (and Tuesday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (20 or over): Tokyo 748 (563), Kanagawa 346 (348), Osaka 312 (283), Aichi 239 (190), Saitama 230 (196), Hyogo 170 (190), Fukuoka 156 (88), Chiba 142 (152), Hiroshima 123 (77), Hokkaido 114 (74), Kyoto 88 (81), Gifu 56 (35), Miyagi 51 (41), Okinawa 37 (21), Nara 36 (31), Okayama 35 (13), Shizuoka 35 (30), Fukushima 34 (2), Tochigi 33 (34), Kumamoto 30 (25), Gunma 28 (23), Kochi 24 (31), Kagawa 20 (2). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker