Asia Pacific

Tokyo aims to lift COVID-19 curbs on restaurants as cases fall - media

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People wearing protective masks amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak make their way at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan, September 9, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

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TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is aiming to ease COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants next week as infections continue to decline, the Jiji news service said on Wednesday.

The easing will be announced as early as Thursday and would apply to businesses that are certified as following anti-infection measures, Jiji reported, citing informed sources.

Representatives for the Tokyo government did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.

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Tokyo and much of Japan lifted COVID-19 emergency measures on Oct. 1 that had been in place for almost six months. Even so, restaurants and bars in the capital have been asked to halt alcohol sales by 8 p.m. and close by 9 p.m.

New daily cases in Tokyo dropped to 29 on Monday, the lowest since June last year. Infections have fallen dramatically from a wave of more than 5,000 a day in August that hammered the capital's medical infrastructure. read more

Some 67% of Japan's population is now fully vaccinated, and the government is planning to roll out booster shots this winter. At the same time, authorities are planning to use a combination of vaccination certificates and COVID-19 tests to further ease curbs and reopen the economy.

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Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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