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Japan releases phased road map to fully reopen economy by August

Large screens in Tokyo show Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announcing the end of a state of emergency on May 25, 2020. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan on Monday released a phased road map for reopening the economy as the government fully lifted the state of emergency the same day, with plans to relax by August restrictions imposed following the novel coronavirus outbreak.

    Restrictions on domestic travel and large-scale events, as well as the use of facilities prone to cluster infections, will be gradually eased every three weeks after assessing the situation at the time.

    The government will also request organizers to put off holding festivals until August when they can be held as long as attendees maintain a reasonable distance from one another.

    Professional sports events behind closed doors will be permitted from June 19, with organizers able to allow entry of spectators to the venue and increase their number in phases.

    But restrictions limiting the number of attendees to less than half the venue capacity will remain in place even after August.

    Although prefectural governors can refer to the policy when deciding on what actions business operators and organizers should take after emergency measures are relaxed, the requests are not legally binding.

    The central government sees the period through the end of July as a transitional period before fully reopening the economy as it encourages new lifestyles without lowering the guard against the virus.

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