Japan to lift COVID-19 state of emergency on September 30

September 28, 2021
Japan to lift COVID-19 state of emergency on September 30

The Japanese government will soon lift the imposed COVID-19 state of emergency in all regions by the end of the month, even as some limitations on eateries and large-scale remain in place for a further month. Japan had declared the second and current emergency state early this year after continuous spikes in cases, but plans to ease the ruling by Thursday, September 30, said Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

One of the limitations was that restaurants in areas under emergency curbs, including capital Tokyo, had to close by 8pm and not serve alcohol. Nishimura said the government would introduce a certification system whereby only approved restaurants could stay open until 9pm, although the ban on alcohol would be lifted everywhere unless prefectural governors objected.

Read: Japanese residents to get COVID-19 vaccines free of charge

The announcement comes as daily cases of COVID-19 continue to fall – 1,128 nationwide on Monday, according to the health minister, nearly halving from the 2,129 on Sunday and down from a daily high of about 25,000 infections.

However, Nishimura warns that “new cases will undoubtedly rise” after the emergency state is lifted.

“We need to continue with the necessary measures to prevent a rebound,” he said, adding that if cases surged again, reinstatement of a more limited “quasi emergency” was still possible.

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