On May 25, Japan lifted the state of emergency for the remaining five prefectures in the country, including Tokyo and Hokkaido. While people are encouraged to adopt a new lifestyle, which includes social distancing, wearing face masks and teleworking, businesses can begin reopening – with increased safety measures.
The Japanese government has released a roadmap for carefully reopening the country while keeping a close eye on the infection rate. Japan will reopen in three-week phases, with plans to fully restart the economy as early as August 2020. The month of July will be a transitional period for people to adjust to the new way of life and the ongoing precautions against Covid-19 coronavirus infections.
Japan’s reopening plan is different from Tokyo’s own city-wide reopening plan, which moved into stage one on May 26, the day after the state of emergency was lifted. Stage two of the Tokyo plan, which includes opening gyms and cinemas, could start as early as this month. Tokyo has not yet announced a reopening date for live music venues.
Here's the tentative timeline for Japan’s reopening.
Museums began opening on May 26.
Karaoke bars and gyms can reopen starting June 1 with increased safety measures.
The shinkansen bullet train and highway buses will resume operations from the June 1.
Professional sports matches can be played in empty stadiums from June 10. The number of spectators allowed in the stadium will slowly be increased. Baseball and J-League soccer is expected to start this summer.
Live music venues, nightlife and hostess bars can open as early as June 19.
Japan might begin to relax its entry restrictions at the end of June.
According to NHK, sporting events ‘of any size’ will be allowed from August 1 ‘as long as crowd sizes are less than about 50 percent of the facilities' capacities.’
The government has asked for large events to be put on hold until August. The majority of summer festivals and events throughout Japan, including the Aomori Nebuta Festival and Kyoto Gion Matsuri, have already been cancelled.
We all still need to exercise caution by social distancing and avoiding crowded and closed off places. If there is another spike in infections, the government may reinstate the emergency. The reopening plan and the dates listed above may also change, depending on the infection rate.
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