Tokyo to ease COVID alcohol restrictions

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will allow some restaurants in the metropolis to serve alcohol from October, and allow them to operate until 9 p.m.

The move comes as the central government is set to lift the coronavirus state of emergency on Thursday, in all 19 restricted prefectures including Tokyo.

Tokyo officials plan to ease the restrictions in phases. They say only those eating establishments certified as ones having full anti-infection measures in place will be allowed to serve alcohol, starting Friday.

They will be allowed to operate until 9 p.m. and can accept up to four people when customers visit as a group.

Tokyo officials are still discussing whether to set a time limit for ordering alcohol.

As for uncertified establishments, the officials will ask them not to serve alcohol and to close by 8 p.m.

Officials say the measures could remain in place for about three weeks. The metropolitan government plans to provide up to about 1,800 dollars per day, depending on size and other conditions, to establishments that comply with its request.