Japan fully lifts Covid state of emergency

Tokyo, Oct 1 (EFE).- Japan lifted its Covid-19 state of emergency on Friday, marking the first time in six months that it has not been in force in any area of the country.

The government decided to end the highest restrictions in force in 19 of the 47 prefectures of the country, and another lower alert level that affected eight others, as new infections have dropped and hospital availability has improved.

The state of emergency in Japan has never been a lockdown. The restrictions, which will be gradually lifted, mainly affected business hours and the activity of bars, restaurants and karaoke joints, as well as attendance at large events and venues such as theme parks.

The lifting of measures will depend on the criteria of the local authorities in each area.

In August, during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, daily cases reached a record high of more than 25,800.

Since then, the figure has stabilized, with 1,576 new cases recorded nationwide on Thursday.

The authorities have asked the hospitality sector to maintain shorter business hours for the next month, such as closing at 9 pm (compared to 8 pm), but they will be able to serve alcohol again, an activity that was restricted.

Large event capacity limitations will go from 5,000 to 10,000, so theme parks, and sporting and cultural events will experience an increase in visitors.

Despite not imposing lockdowns, the authorities had asked the population to limit non-essential outings as much as possible, which has affected the tourism sector.

Following the announcement of the lifting of the state of emergency, travel and accommodation reservations have increased.

All Nippon Airways, one of the largest airlines in the country, received about 50,000 reservations on Wednesday when the decision was made not to extend the state of emergency, 10 times more than the average of last month, according to Kyodo news agency. EFE


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