Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Friday that the government will lift a state of emergency in six prefectures, imposed over the spread of COVID-19, ahead of its scheduled end on March 7, as numbers of new infections and the hospital bed occupancy rate had been reduced sufficiently.

With the decision to cancel the declaration in the prefectures of Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka starting March 1, the focus in those areas will shift to suppressing any resurgence of the virus. Although restaurants in the affected regions will no longer be required to shorten business hours and close at 8 p.m., or shut completely, governors in those regions will likely ask them to close their doors by 9 p.m. for some time in exchange for financial compensation of up to ¥40,000 per day.

The emergency declaration will be maintained through the scheduled end date for Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, as the decline in new cases has slowed.