Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga confirmed the plans to completely lift the coronavirus-related state of emergency, which is still in force in 19 out of 47 prefectures, from October 1.

Eight more prefectures implement “softer” restrictions, as a regime of enhanced measures against COVID-19 is in force there.

In almost all the prefectures, numbers of infections and severe cases, and medical facilities’ load dropped to a level allowing to lift the restrictions, Suga said at a session of the expert committee, which was broadcast by NHK.

The restrictions will be relaxed gradually. During the first month, the limit on maximum presence at events will be raised from 5,000 to 10,000 people. Public places will be allowed to operate until 9 p.m. after passing a special confirmation procedure. Restaurants currently close at 8 p.m.

(EW Correspondent)