Tuesday Aug 9, 2022
Tuesday Aug 9, 2022

Japan easing COVID-19 restrictions in Tokyo, Osaka from June 21

2021 Jun 12, 9:57, Tokyo
People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus wait at a crosswalk Monday evening, May 31, 2021, in Tokyo. Life in the evening is continuing almost as usual as people in one of the world’s least vaccinated countries show increasing signs of frustration and defy largely toothless emergency measures. Photo: AP

The Japanese government is considering easing the COVID-19 restrictions in Tokyo and Osaka from June 21, a government official said Friday.

Tokyo and Osaka are likely to be kept under a quasi-state of emergency with less tough measures to be implemented, and the state of emergency for most of the 10 prefectures covered will be lifted on the planned end date of June 20, the official said.

The government aims to prevent a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic ahead of the Tokyo Olympics slated to start on July 23.

In areas to be put under a quasi-state of emergency, the government plans to continue asking restaurants to shorten their opening hours but is considering lifting the ban on sales of alcoholic beverages.

A state of emergency approves orders for certain facilities to shut down, while a quasi-state of emergency allows shortening opening hours.

A formal decision is expected to be made at a government meeting to be held as early as Thursday, after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga meets relevant ministers and a subcommittee of experts to discuss restrictions on major events to be held in July and August.

COVID-19 restrictions Tokyo Osaka pandemic Tokyo Olympics
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