All national dailies reported that the GOJ will formally decide on its plan to place 18 more prefectures under a quasi-state of emergency after consulting with a panel of experts today to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The 18 prefectures are Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Aomori, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Ishikawa, Nagano, Shizuoka, Shimane, Okayama, Fukuoka, Saga, Oita, and Kagoshima. The papers said this will bring the total number of prefectures under a quasi-state of emergency to 34. Under the quasi-state of emergency, bars and restaurants will be asked to shorten their business hours and restrict the number of customers who can dine together to four. The measures will be effective from Jan. 27 to Feb. 20. In addition, the GOJ will consult with the panel on its plan to extend the quasi-state of emergency measures to Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, and Okinawa until Feb. 20.