Relevant Minister Nesimura Yasutose said Friday that the island nation’s government will also impose austerity measures in Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures by May 31.
The government recently extended the state of emergency in Tokyo, the home of the games, and has now expanded it to six regions. As for the three provinces announced on Friday, they were previously only a watered-down version of the state of emergency, but experts suggested tougher measures.
However, the state of emergency does not mean a complete shutdown: Restaurants and bars are not allowed to sell alcohol and are only open for 20 hours. The public is only urged to leave their homes when justified, and companies should allow remote work. Shopping malls and cinemas are either closed or open only for a limited time. Up to 5,000 spectators can attend cultural and sporting events.
Recent polls show that due to the pandemic, two-thirds of Japanese do not want the Tokyo Olympic Games to be postponed this summer.
A petition launched last week against the Olympics has already been signed by more than 300,000 people.
The vaccination rate for the population in the island nation remains extremely low.
Foreign spectators and foreign volunteers are not permitted to travel to attend the Olympics, but these measures have not alleviated concerns about hosting the Games across the country either.
The Olympic Games start on July 23 and last until August 8.