Japan will lift emergency coronavirus measures across the board at the end of this week, amid a dramatic fall in cases and rapid progress in its vaccination rollout.
The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, said restrictions in 27 of Japan’s 47 prefectures would end on Thursday.
But bars and restaurants may not immediately return to business as usual, as experts warned that complacency could spark another wave of infections this winter.
“Lifting of the emergency doesn’t mean we are 100% free,” said Shigeru Omi, the government’s top medical adviser. “The government should send a clear message to the people that we can only relax gradually.”
It will be the first time since early April that none of Japan’s 47 prefectures is subject to emergency restrictions.