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Tokyo mulls ending COVID restrictions on countermeasure-certified eateries

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. (Mainichi/Makoto Ogawa)

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is considering ways to completely lift shortened business hour requests and alcohol sales limits for eateries that have been certified as taking thorough coronavirus countermeasures from Oct. 25.

    The metro government is expected to ask restaurants that have not been certified to refrain from serving alcoholic beverages after 9 p.m. An official decision will be made on Oct. 21 after hearing experts' opinions.

    After the last coronavirus state of emergency was lifted at the end of September, the metro government implemented "rebound prevention" measures to gradually relax restrictions from Oct. 1 to Oct. 24. While certified eateries were requested to close at 9 p.m. and to stop serving alcoholic drinks at 8 p.m., uncertified establishments were asked to close at 8 p.m. and to entirely refrain from serving alcohol.

    The metro government has considered eased restrictions while paying close attention to the status of infections. As of Oct. 19, the weekly moving average for new daily cases was 51.7, a decrease of about 80% from the 252.6 seen on Oct. 1.

    Based on the current situation, Tokyo apparently believes it possible to lift all restrictions on certified eateries. Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters on Oct. 19 that she "is considering various things" in regards to relaxed restaurant restrictions.

    (Japanese original by Hitomi Saikawa, Tokyo City News Department)

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