All 19 prefectures in Japan currently covered by the COVID-19 state of emergency are expected to allow restaurants and bars to serve alcoholic beverages from October 1 after the declaration is lifted, sources said.
While 16 of the prefectures will continue to ask restaurants and bars to reduce their opening hours, Ibaraki, Shizuoka and Shiga prefectures plan not to do so.
The 16 prefectures are Hokkaido, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Okinawa.
Ibaraki Prefecture will stop asking restaurants to shorten opening hours and allow them to serve alcoholic drinks.
“Returning economic activity to its original state will be the next task,” Ibaraki Governor Kazuhiko Oigawa said on September 27.
Most prefectures will follow basic government policy that states certified establishments by prefectures that have taken sufficient anti-virus measures will be allowed to operate until 9 p.m., while others may remain open until 8 p.m. time.
Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures ask certified establishments to stop serving alcohol after 8:30 p.m.
Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Aichi and other prefectures will ask them to refrain from serving alcohol after 8 p.m.
Tokyo, Tochigi, Chiba and Hyogo prefectures will also require restaurants to limit the number of customers in a group to four or less while Kanagawa Prefecture will do the same but will also offer customers the option to limit their group to members of the group. the same family.
Japan is lifting its state of emergency and all-round pre-emergency measures for the first time in nearly six months.
Many governors are cautious about restarting large-scale economic activity.
“Let’s prevent a rebound from happening (in cases of COVID-19) so that we don’t make all efforts unnecessary,” Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on September 28.
“It’s important to try and find ways to live with the new coronavirus,” Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said.
At the same time, among eight prefectures where pre-emergency measures will be lifted, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Miyazaki and Kagoshima plan not to ask catering establishments to close earlier and allow them to serve food. alcohol.
Kumamoto Prefecture will continue to ask restaurants in Kumamoto City to close at 8 p.m. until October 14, as the city’s hospital bed occupancy rate remains high.
Okayama Prefecture will decide on its catering policy on September 29.