Japanese cherry blossom festival hit by Covid restrictions – BBC News

now japan has emerged from 10 weeks of coronavirus restrictions just in time for the peak of the annual cherry blossom viewing season normally crowds would flock to parks to enjoy the splendor however this year officials are asking people to refrain from organizing cherry blossom parties due to the pandemic rupert wingfield hayes has more from tokyo it's hard to overstate just how much japanese people really love cherry blossom season it is called sakura here and it is a symbol of japan and it's also a sign for japanese people that it is the end of winter and it's time to go out and enjoy yourself in the spring sunshine you can see all the people behind me here taking photographs enjoying themselves it's also this year particularly poignant because we're coming to the end of a third wave of covid we're just coming out of 10 weeks of a state of emergency where people haven't really been out able to go out and enjoy themselves but you can see from these orange fences here that people have been told there must not be any cherry blossom parties and normally on a day like this a beautiful sunny afternoon with the cherry blossom in full bloom there would be thousands and thousands of people out under these trees with their friends enjoying themselves eating and getting very very drunk uh the japanese government has said that must not happen for the second year in a row sakura parties as they are called here have been banned and the reason is although the kovid rate here is coming down and has come down dramatically in the last few weeks it is not low enough and the government is still very worried that if people come out here and get drunk there could be a fourth wave

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