Japan lifts state of emergency after six months as Covid-19 cases steadily decline

Subways were packed

Subways were packed, airlines saw a spike in reservations, and bars in Tokyo resumed selling alcohol on Friday as Japan ended its state of emergency, leaving the country without any restrictions for the first time since April.

The decision to lift Covid-19 curbs was made by the government of outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga earlier this week as infection numbers dropped. It came into force on Thursday. The number of daily cases has now fallen to less than 1,600, compared to around 25,000 at the peak of the outbreak in August, easing pressure on the country’s health system.

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