Fearing Osaka-like outbreak, Kyoto asks restaurants to close earlier


The Kyoto prefectural government decided on Friday to ask restaurants and bars in 16 prefecture towns to postpone their closing hours to 9 p.m. or earlier to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The request, decided at the day’s meeting of the prefectural government’s coronavirus working group, will take effect on Monday and will last until April 21.

The prefecture saw the need for stricter rules as neighboring Osaka, along with Kobe and three other cities in Hyogo Prefecture, will be subject to stricter coronavirus countermeasures as part of a pre-emergency status. from Monday until May 5.

The seven-day average of infections in Kyoto prefecture has exceeded 30, the threshold set by the prefectural government to sharply increase its virus alert level. The prefecture reported 68 new cases on Friday.

“We must take stronger countermeasures before the infection situation in our prefecture worsens to levels similar to those in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures,” Kyoto Governor Takatoshi Nishiwaki said at the time. of a press conference after the meeting.

The Kyoto government will provide 40,000 yen in aid per day to establishments that accept the request for reduced opening hours.

Residents of the prefecture will be asked to refrain from visiting Osaka and Hyogo prefectures, as well as Tokyo, which is also experiencing a rebound in coronavirus cases.

Also on Friday, the government of Miyagi prefecture, whose capital, Sendai, will also be subject to pre-emergency measures, also drew up plans to strengthen coronavirus countermeasures in the rest of the prefecture.

As part of these measures, restaurants serving alcohol and bars will be asked to end their daily activities before 9 p.m. during the period Monday to May 5. Compliant facilities will receive aid of 40,000 per day.

The prefectural government’s plans were approved at Friday’s meeting of the mayors of Miyagi municipalities and will be formalized on Saturday.

“The prefecture’s finances are tight, but saving the lives of local residents is more important than anything else,” Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai told reporters on Friday.

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