The Japan State of Emergency just got wider.

Japan Prime Minister Suga had announced yesterday the widening of areas under the State of Emergency for COVID-19. All Kansai prefectures, as well as cities in Kyushu and Shikoku, are on the list. Eleven prefectures are now affected.

Prefectures included in the State of Emergency
Screenshot from NHK.

Measures include:

The shutdown of restaurants after 8 pm daily.
Plead for people to reduce unnecessary travel.
Asking businesses to allow up to 70% of staff to work from home.
Reducing attendance numbers for events.

The State of Emergency will last until February 7th. Foreigners are affected as the ban on international travel continues until further notice.

How efficient that would be in stemming the outbreak is anyone’s guess. While Japan’s situation is not as dire as the US and the UK are, their number of confirmed cases and people in serious condition are breaking recorded highs a few times a week. And the lack of legal ramifications in the State of Emergency is not enough in pushing for behavioral changes. With the doubts on whether the Olympics will happen this year, Japanese authorities must do a lot more to stop the situation, as well as projecting confidence to the international community.