Japan eases restaurant COVID restrictions

NHK -- Oct 25
Most anti-coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars were lifted in Japan on Monday as new daily infections continue to drop across the country.

In the western city of Osaka, the Tsutenkaku Tower was illuminated in green on Monday, signaling a go-ahead for nighttime dining. It is the first time in about 15 months that the people of Osaka have seen the tower in green.

And in Tokyo, certified establishments can entertain customers after 9 p.m.

Three of the capital's neighboring prefectures also lifted most of their restrictions on restaurants and bars.

But many remain cautious.

A woman said, "I am still worried. People tend to talk loudly when they drink, and that would scare me."

A man said, "I won't stay out late. I will probably head home at around 9 or 10 p.m."

Businesses are also wary about holding gatherings.

A recent survey shows that more than 70 percent of the companies in Japan say they will not hold year-end or New Year parties this winter.

Health authorities across the country reported 153 new cases on Monday. This is the first time in nearly 16 months that the daily figure has fallen below 200.

Almost 70 percent of the public has received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. And over 90 percent of seniors have been fully inoculated.

東京都では25日から、飲食店などへの時短要請が解除されました。都内の飲食店では久しぶりの通常営業となり、客足に期待する声が上がっています。 - ANNnewsCH