Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures will ask the central government to declare a state of emergency covering the Keihanshin region as early as on Jan. 9 to deal with the spread of COVID-19.

Osaka officials decided to coordinate the request with the neighboring Kyoto and Hyogo prefectural governments at a meeting of Osaka Prefecture’s COVID-19 task force on Jan. 8. They also decided to ask restaurants and bars in Osaka city to continue to close at 9 p.m. until the state of emergency is issued.

The request is currently effective until Jan. 11.

Once a state of emergency is declared, the targeted businesses will likely be asked to close at 8 p.m.

Residents of Osaka Prefecture will also be asked to refrain from traveling to and from Tokyo and Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures, which are already under the state of emergency.


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