Japan imposes new virus measures in Tokyo ahead of Olympics

International

FILE – In this March 25, 2021, file photo, the celebration cauldron is seen lit on the first day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan. The governor of Osaka prefecture said on Thursday that he wants to cancel the Olympic torch relay legs going through Osaka later this month. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool Photo via AP, File)

TOKYO (AP) – Japan says it will raise the coronavirus alert level in Tokyo to allow tougher measures to curb the rapid spread of a more contagious variant ahead of the Summer Olympics.

Japan’s vaccination drive has lagged and most people in the capital still have not been inoculated as infections have surged.

The raised status announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will allow Tokyo’s governor to mandate shorter opening hours for bars and restaurants, along with punishments for violators and compensation for those who comply.

The measures are to begin Monday and continue through May 11. Many of Tokyo’s cases have been linked to nightlife and dining.

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