On 25 May 2020, Prime Minister Abe announced the lifting of the state of emergency relating to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout Japan. The state of emergency had already been lifted in all prefectures other than Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Hokkaido.
There will be a transition period that will see a phased relaxation of the measures requested by prefectural governments restricting people’s movements, the holding of events and business operations. How these restrictive measures will be relaxed will be determined by each prefectural government.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government had already announced a “Road Map” to overcome COVID-19 in anticipation of the lifting of the state of emergency. Under the Road Map, measures will be relaxed in three steps. Step 1 took effect as soon as the state of emergency was lifted. The relaxation under Step 1 is relatively limited: except for certain high risk facilities (which will still be requested not to operate), the opening hours of restaurants and other places for eating and drinking will be extended from the current 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm; shops (other than those supplying essentials to maintain the livelihoods of local residents) will still be asked not to resume operations. Travel across prefectural boundaries will continue to be discouraged.
Many other prefectures have announced the complete relaxation of restrictions, while reminding people of the importance of remaining vigilant and exercising appropriate precautions.
The national government has not relaxed restrictions on inbound travel. Currently, visitors from 111 countries and regions are prohibited from entering Japan, while visitors from other countries and regions must be quarantined for two weeks.