According to the Jiji news service, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants next week as infections continue to decline.
The relaxation will be announced as early as Thursday and will apply to businesses that have been certified as adhering to anti-infection measures, according to Jiji, citing informed sources.
Representatives from Tokyo’s government did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Tokyo and much of Japan lifted COVID-19 emergency measures on Oct. 1 that had been in place for almost six months. Even so, restaurants and bars in the capital have been asked to halt alcohol sales by 8 p.m. and close by 9 p.m.
New daily cases in Tokyo dropped to 29 on Monday, the lowest since June last year. Infections have fallen dramatically from a wave of more than 5,000 a day in August that hammered the capital’s medical infrastructure.
Some 67% of Japan’s population is now fully vaccinated, and the government is planning to roll out booster shots this winter. At the same time, authorities are planning to use a combination of vaccination certificates and COVID-19 tests to further ease curbs and reopen the economy.