Photo: Unsplash/Grzegorz KaliciakUndated photo of Shibuya Crossing

State of emergency lifted across Japan – here’s what you can now do

Restaurants and bars can now serve alcohol and business hours have been extended, but public drinking is still banned

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

Following a drop in new Covid-19 cases and a steady rise in vaccination rates, Japan decided to lift the state of emergency that covered Tokyo and 18 other prefectures on October 1. This is the first time in six months that the entire country is not under any form of emergency. 

Along with the expiration of the emergency protocols, some restrictions have been eased as the government plans to gradually resume socio-economic activities. Here's what the relaxed restrictions look like in Tokyo for the time being. Note that the ease in restrictions will vary between prefectures. 

Eating and drinking

  • Restaurants and bars that have been certified for following Covid-19 safety measures will be allowed to serve alcohol until 8pm and stay open until 9pm. 
  • Restaurants and bars that have not been certified have been asked to still refrain from serving alcohol and close by 8pm. 
  • Table capacity will be limited to four people per group. 
  • Restaurants and bars must continue to refrain from offering karaoke services. 

Events and entertainment facilities  

  • Large-scale entertainment facilities (including Tokyo Disneyland) will be allowed to increase their maximum capacity from 5,000 people to 10,000 people per day. 
  • Commercial facilities including department stores and cinemas will be allowed to stay open until 9pm.
  • Events will be capped at 50 percent of venue capacity, or 10,000 people for venues with a maximum capacity of more than 20,000 people. 
  • Karaoke parlours that thoroughly sanitise their facilities and follow Covid-19 safety measures will be allowed to resume business. 

Public outings 

  • People are asked to exercise caution when going out or travelling between prefectures and avoid crowded places. 
  • People must still refrain from drinking alcohol on streets and in parks. 

The government has declared that the weeks of October 1 through October 24 are considered a ‘rebound prevention period’. The safety measures mentioned above may be revised after October 24. 

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