Can Hiroshima resist the the lure of cherry blossom in midst of rise in corona cases?

With 4 new corona virus cases announced in Hiroshima city yesterday, and cases increasing around the country, Hiroshima city mayor Kazumi Matsui called on residents to stay away from the parks on what would, in a normal year, be the season’s peak cherry blossom viewing weekend.

As the blossoms are at full bloom and the weather looks like it will be sunny and warm, authorities worry that locals will not be able to resist hitting the city’s top cherry blossom spots. Matsui called on Hiroshima-folk to stay away or “show restraint” in an effort to stem the spread of the the corona virus.

As well having media outlets publish his “urgent request” call, the city has posted these posters in the city’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots. 

The poster reads:

Urgent Request

1. Please don’t eat and drink.

2. Please observe the following
① Sit in a breezy location
②    Keep one group to maximum of 5 people
③ Maintain a distance of at least 2m between groups
④ Please keep hanami gatherings to 2 hours or less

3. Please wash your hands and follow “coughing manners” including the wearing of masks.

The “rules” seem to indicate that the city government has accepted that people will not, in fact be able to stay away. Will you be dusting off your blue sheet this weekend?

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