Tokyo adopts tougher virus rules, starts vaccinating elders

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An elderly man receives his first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at Hachioji City Hall in Tokyo Monday, April 12, 2021. Japan started its vaccination drive with medical workers and expanded Monday to older residents, with the first shots being given in about 120 selected places around the country. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) – Tokyo adopted tougher measures against the coronavirus as it struggles to curb the rapid spread of a more contagious variant ahead of the Olympics in a country where less than 1% of people have been vaccinated.

Japan expanded its vaccination drive Monday to older residents, with the first shots being given in about 120 selected places around the country.

The tougher COVID-19 rules allow Tokyo’s governor to mandate shorter opening hours for bars and restaurants, punish violators and compensate those who comply.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urged residents to be cautious while vaccinations are in an early stage. “We are still unarmed as we fight against the resurgence of the infections.”

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