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Coronavirus

Japan to allow restrictions in 3 regions amid rising COVID cases

Okinawa, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures ready to impose curbs on activity

The manager of a restaurant in Tokyo serves draft beer. Under the new restrictions, governors of the affected prefectures can ask restaurants and bars to cut their operating hours.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan is set to allow the governors of three prefectures, including Okinawa, to enact restrictions on social activities as community spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 becomes more prevalent, the government announced on Thursday.

"In consideration of the rapid spread of the omicron strain, the countermeasures will be strengthened," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. "Further measures, such as suspending the serving of alcoholic beverages, are possible at the discretion of the governor."

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