Tokyo unveils post-emergency roadmap

On Friday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced its plan to restart the economy once the city's state of emergency is lifted. Governor Koike Yuriko says she wants to resume economic and social activities as soon as possible, while also maintaining preventive measures against a resurgence of infections.

The Metropolitan Government's roadmap toward a complete resumption of the economy is divided into three phases.

Phase One

Restrictions are eased on museums and libraries. Indoor sports facilities are reopened, allowing professional baseball and basketball leagues to start behind closed doors. National training centers will also be reopened, allowing athletes to resume training. Restaurants and bars can stay open until 10 p.m. (They currently close at 8 p.m.)

Tokyo will enter Phase One once the state of emergency is lifted.

Phase Two

Restrictions are eased for cram schools, theaters, and cinemas.

Phase Three

Pachinko parlors and amusement parks are allowed to reopen, and restaurants and bars can stay open until midnight. However, some businesses deemed to be high-risk environments, such as karaoke bars, gyms, and hostess bars, will remain closed.

The roadmap also includes guidelines on reopening schools. High schools operated by the Metropolitan Government will allow students to attend class in rotation, with the remaining students staying at home and participating in online classes. Over time, the number of students allowed in the classroom will gradually be increased.

Tokyo roadmap

The government will conduct a status assessment every two weeks to decide whether the city can enter the next phase in the roadmap. To progress, there must be fewer than 20 daily infections on average across a week, with the percentage of untraceable cases below 50%. In addition, the number of total weekly infections must be lower than the previous week. Several other points will be taken into consideration, including the number of seriously ill patients and expert opinion.

"Recently, the number of new cases in Tokyo has been relatively low," Koike said on Friday. "If this welcome trend continues, we may progress along the roadmap more quickly than expected. We want to be flexible."

The government plans to set up a unique way for residents to keep up with the city's latest infection totals. Rainbow Bridge will be lit up in its normal rainbow colors if the city is falling below the various weekly criteria. However, if the daily infection total goes up, the bridge will be lit up in red as a way to urge residents exercise caution.

Tokyo Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge will be lit up in red if the number of daily infections goes up.

Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since April 7th. The city has recorded more than 5,100 total cases. But the number of new infections has been decreasing in recent weeks. Only 14 were confirmed on Sunday.

Graph: COVID-19 daily cases in Tokyo