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Tokyo begins stage one of reopening following the state of emergency

Japan’s capital is reopening its museums and libraries, and restaurants can now serve until 10pm

Kasey Furutani
Written by
Kasey Furutani
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On May 25, Japan lifted the state of emergency in the final five prefectures where the coronavirus order was still active, which included Tokyo and Hokkaido. While residents are still urged to wear face masks, practise social distancing and telework to avoid a spike in Covid-19 infections, the economy can begin to reopen. 

Stage one of Tokyo’s own recovery plan begins today (May 26), with museums and libraries given the green light to reopen. However, many Tokyo museums are treading lightly and will instead open their doors around mid-June. Tokyo restaurants are also allowed to stay open and serve alcohol until 10pm, two hours later than the previous curfew at 8pm. Public events with maximum 50 people are allowed to be held. 

Kyodo News reports that children’s playground equipment in Tokyo’s parks is now open, too. Previously, the equipment was taped off to avoid the spread of the virus. 

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike released the basic roadmap of Tokyo’s reopening plan during her May 15 English video update. However, details are still being adjusted. For example, gyms will now be able to reopen in stage two and karaoke bars in stage three – previously, those venues were one of the last priorities. 

If the number of coronavirus cases remains low, then Tokyo can move onto stage two, which includes reopening cinemas and tutoring centres, such as cram schools. The Japan Times even reported that stage two might start as early as this weekend.

At the time of writing, there are 5,160 cases in Tokyo and 16,254 cases in Japan. 

Get live updates on the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan here

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