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Japan to Lift COVID-19 State of Emergency in 19 Prefectures on September 30

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Government to keep some restrictions in place

NHK reported on Tuesday that the Japanese government will not extend the state of emergency in the country, and will officially end the state of emergency in 19 prefectures on September 30. The government will also end the quasi-emergency measures in eight prefectures.

However, some restrictions will still be in place, and the government plans to ease restrictions in stages. For one month after the state of emergency, events can take place at limited capacity. Additionally, while restaurants will now be allowed to serve alcohol, prefectural governors might put restrictions on dining due to local infection situations. Tokyo for example will allow some restaurants to serve alcohol, but restaurants will close by 9:00 p.m., and can accept only up to four people in a group.

Health Minister Tamura Norihisa stated on Monday that the Japanese government is now looking at decreasing restrictions, given falling new infection numbers. Tokyo had 154 new cases on Monday, the first time in about six months the daily number has fallen below 200. Japan reported 1,147 new infections on Monday.

Earlier this month, the government extended the current state of emergency for 19 prefectures from September 12 to September 30 due to the continued effects of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The 19 prefectures under the extended state of emergency are Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Okinawa, Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Shizuoka, Hokkaido, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, and Hiroshima. Six other prefectures have extended their current quasi-state of emergency to September 30, while six more prefectures — Toyama, Yamanashi, Ehime, Kochi, Saga and Nagasaki — had restrictions entirely removed as scheduled on September 12.

The current state of emergency in Tokyo started on July 12, but Okinawa has been under a state of emergency for about four months. October 1 will be the first time since April 4 that none of Japan's prefectures will be under a state of emergency or a quasi-state of emergency.

Sources: NHK World (link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5), The Mainichi

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