Tokyo to lift early closure rules for bars and restaurants on Monday

Although Tokyo officially ended its multi-month state of emergency on October 1, some rules have been maintained as the metropolitan government announced a plan to carefully ease restrictions over a period of several weeks. The roadmap provided for the resumption of alcohol sales in bars and restaurants as well as the extension of opening hours until 9 p.m. for places that comply with a set of security measures against coronaviruses. These rules were to be reassessed towards the end of the month.

Extended opening hours of bars and restaurants

Now, Kyodo News reports that the Tokyo government will completely remove the limit on opening hours following a task force meeting held on Thursday. The restrictions should be lifted from Monday, October 25, although this will only apply to the approximately 102,000 restaurants and bars in the city that have been certified to follow Covid-19 security measures. The remaining 18,000 sites that have not been certified will be asked to stop serving alcohol before 9 p.m.

But the limits on the size of the group remain

While opening hours are expected to be extended, the maximum number of people per table will always be limited. In principle, only four people will be allowed at a single table, but five people can be seated together if all members of the group can provide proof of vaccination. The limit on the number of people allowed per table will be in place throughout November, but the government may relax that rule after careful observation in the coming weeks.

Other prefectures follow suit

According to The Japan Times, this will be the first time that Tokyo has not imposed any restrictions on trading hours since November of last year. Corn Tokyo isn’t the only area to ease restrictions. Hyogo and Kyto the prefectures lift the restrictions from Friday 22 October. Ossaka, Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa have also announced their intention to lift restrictions on opening hours from Monday.

NHK (in Japanese) reports that Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea have already announced that they will extend the park’s opening hours from November 1, with Disneyland scheduled to open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. while Disneysea will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

During this time, Okinawa is preparing to ease restrictions on restaurants starting November 1.

This article was originally published on October 21 and updated on October 22.

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