Japan has announced emergency Covid measures in Tokyo and three other areas in a bid to curb rising infections, just three months before the country is set to host the Olympics.
The government said the state of emergency – set to last for about two weeks – would be “short and powerful”.
Under the measures, bars will be required to close and big sporting events will be held without spectators.
The government has insisted that the Olympics will go ahead in July.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the measures on Friday, saying they would begin on Sunday and remain in place until 11 May. In addition to Tokyo, the prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo will be affected.
It marks the third state of emergency in Japan since the pandemic began.
“I sincerely apologise for causing trouble for many people again,” he said. “It is feared that contagion in major cities will spread across the whole country if we take no measures.” (BBC)