World News

Tokyo governor asks bars, restaurants to shut early amid COVID-19 spike

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike takes off her protective face mask during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan, November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Reuters) - Bars and restaurants in Japan’s capital of Tokyo will be asked to close early in a bid to halt coronavirus infections, Governor Yuriko Koike said on Wednesday.

Businesses would be asked to close by 10 p.m. from Saturday until Dec. 17 and will eligible for cash assistance from the government, Koike said, urging people to stay home as much as possible.

The number of new virus patients in Tokyo has surged above 500 for several days with serious cases at 51, the highest since a state of emergency was lifted in May. There were 401 new cases reported in the capital on Wednesday.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez