Japan may limit event attendance as COVID-19 cases surge - econ minister

The government imposed attendance limits earlier in the year but relaxed them in recent months

  
The National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, is seen past a visitor wearing a protective face mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at an observation deck in Tokyo, Japan July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

The National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, is seen past a visitor wearing a protective face mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at an observation deck in Tokyo, Japan July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO - Japan may reimpose attendance limits for sports and other large events to curb a spike in COVID-19 infections, economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Sunday.

The limits would be applied in areas of the country seeing a sharp increase in cases, Nishimura said on a talk show on public broadcaster NHK. The government imposed attendance limits earlier in the year but relaxed them in recent months.

The government is also considering how to refund cancellation fees for customers who booked trips via a domestic tourism campaign that was partially suspended on Saturday, Nishimura said. 

New coronavirus cases across Japan climbed to a record 2,596 on Saturday, according to NHK. In Tokyo, the daily infection rate was an all-time high 539 cases. 

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; editing by Richard Pullin) ((rocky.swift@thomsonreuters.com;))

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