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The government has decided to allow the sales of alcoholic drinks for takeout and delivery by restaurants and bars in a bid to help them weather the economic impact from the COVID-19 outbreak.

In line with the decision, the National Tax Agency has introduced a six-month alcohol-sales license and began accepting applications. The deadline is June 30.

Alcoholic drinks covered by the new license are those already in inventories or procured from the existing suppliers of each restaurant and bar.

Local tax offices have received requests from izakaya Japanese-style pubs and others for permission to sell alcoholic drinks in inventories to secure funds.

In Tokyo, the metropolitan government asked restaurants and bars to stop serving alcoholic drinks by 7 p.m. and close by 8 p.m. after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency over the outbreak on Tuesday. The targets of the request do not include takeout or delivery services.

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