Tokyo calls for extended ‘stay home’ Golden Week holiday

Linda J. Dodson

TOKYO — The governments of Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa have asked companies to let employees take 12 straight days off during Golden Week, from April 25 through May 6, to cut down on the number of commuters as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Tokyo is calling on residents to reduce grocery shopping trips to once every three days. The capital will ask supermarkets and other retailers to set aside specific opening hours for seniors and others who have difficulty going out.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike at a news conference on Thursday called the 12-day period “Stay Home Week To Save Lives.” She asked for understanding and cooperation from companies and residents, saying, “The best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to decrease contact among people.”

Tokyo on Thursday recorded 134 new cases, sources told Nikkei. The capital confirmed 132 on Wednesday and 123 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, another 14 crew members on an Italian cruise ship docked for repairs in Nagasaki have tested positive for the virus, taking the ship’s total to 48.

The Japanese government plans to decide during the Golden Week break whether to extend the country’s state of emergency beyond May 6.

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