Tokyo set to drop all coronavirus business restrictions on June 19

TOKYO — The Tokyo metropolitan government is set to lift all business restrictions on June 19 after the capital on Thursday rescinded its “state of alert” warning of a potential second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Immediately after the state of emergency was lifted last month, Tokyo issued its first alert on June 2. The alert did not lead to stricter social distancing, but advised caution.

As the restrictions are lifted, Tokyo is expected to allow more facilities — including karaoke parlors and theme parks — to reopen on Friday. Restaurants will be allowed to operate until midnight, rather than 10 p.m. as currently advised.

The city may also lift all business restrictions on June 19, removing caps on opening hours for restaurants.

Facilities that are considered high risk as regards the “3Cs” — closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings, such as live concert halls and cabarets — will be allowed to reopen. But facilities will still be required to take precautionary measures.

The state of alert was issued only when coronavirus cases: averaged 20 or more for seven consecutive days; when officials could not confirm infection routes for over 50% of new cases; or when the total number of cases increased on a weekly basis.

After daily cases topped 30 last week, the number dropped to under 20 for four consecutive days through Wednesday. The number stood at 22 on Thursday.

Infections in the past week incurred people who had been to the Shinjuku district, famous for its nightlife.

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