Nikkei wrote that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government decided on Thursday to lift its coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars on Oct. 25. In Tokyo, drinking establishments whose COVID-19 prevention and mitigation protocols have been certified will no longer be asked to stop serving alcohol by 8 p.m. and close by 9 p.m. However, non-certified establishments will be asked to stop serving alcohol by 9 p.m. The Osaka Prefectural Government also decided on Thursday to end its request for drinking establishments to close earlier. The paper wrote, however, that many restaurants are hesitant to go back to their regular business hours out of concern that not many people are ready to dine out again because they are afraid there might be a sixth wave of the virus in the winter.
Asahi, Yomiuri, and Sankei ran similar reports, with Yomiuri adding that the Tokyo government will also lift on Oct. 25 its request for department stores, movie theaters, and museums to shorten their business hours.