TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government said on Monday it saw no reason at the moment to extend its state of emergency beyond Tokyo and a handful of other cities around the country.

“So far we have not been informed of any expert evidence suggesting that the state of emergency should be extended to Hokkaido or other regions,” chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a briefing.

The central government declared a state of emergency last week, giving legal authority to governors in Tokyo and six other potential virus hotspot prefectures to ask people to stay home and businesses to close, although there are no penalties for non-compliance.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Mark Potter)