Japanese prefectures that were under an emergency regime or enhanced coronavirus measures, including Tokyo and Osaka, are suspending on Monday the restrictions on the operation of restaurants and bars as the number of COVID-19 cases has been in decrease, the local authorities said.
In particular, as of Sunday, Tokyo detected the record minimum of new cases this year - 19 infections.
Starting Monday evening, restaurants and bars certified as complying with COVID-19 rules will be able to work without time limits and serve alcohol. Previously, they were required to close at 9 pm (12:00 GMT) and offer alcohol until 7 p.m.
Tokyo issued relevant licenses for more than 85 per cent of establishments on its territory, allowing them to operate without virus-linked restrictions for the first time in 11 months. Uncertified restaurants and bars are allowed to serve alcohol until 9 pm.
However, all the establishments are required to limit the number of visitors at one table to no more than four people, while big groups of people have to show a vaccination certificate.
As of Monday, Japan has registered 1,716, 938 COVID-19 cases, including 236 over the past day, and 18,199 related fatalities, including 8 over the past 24 hours.