Officials cautious after state of emergency ends

The state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures is over after ten weeks. Some restrictions are easing, but officials are cautioning people to remain on the alert.

The number of daily cases has fallen by 80 percent since the declaration went into effect earlier this year. But there has been a slight uptick in recent days, prompting the government to maintain its request that restaurants and bars close early, and for companies to encourage remote work.

A man said he thinks he is going to continue balancing commuting and telecommuting. Another man said he is worried that another wave of infections may come.

Airlines are introducing new safety measures to reassure passengers. Japan Airlines unveiled its "no-touch" check-in process at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Monday.

A woman in the airport said, "I don't have to touch the machine, so it prevents having to disinfect every time."

Meanwhile, the government is allowing more people to attend large-scale events. Venues can now fill up to 50 percent capacity with a maximum limit of 10,000 attendees.

Japan's top government spokesperson is urging everyone to do their part to prevent another surge in infections.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said he'd like everyone to take basic measures to prevent infection, such as wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding the "Three Cs" -- closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.

The country's rollout of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is continuing. Over half a million people have been inoculated, most of whom are healthcare workers.
And over the weekend, the health minister said vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Moderna could be approved by the end of May.