Commercial facilities in Tokyo, Osaka and other prefectures are stepping up preparations to resume operations on Tuesday, as the government hopes to strike a balance between curbing coronavirus infections and reviving the battered economy after extending the COVID-19 state of emergency to June 20.
Department stores, movie theaters, amusement parks and museums were initially requested to close under the country’s third coronavirus state of emergency but will be permitted to partially reopen, four days after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga extended it in nine prefectures.
Under new guidelines, department stores in the capital and Osaka Prefecture will remain closed on weekends but will be permitted to open on weekdays with shorter business hours. Food courts in department stores have remained open throughout the emergency.
Restrictions such as a ban on restaurants serving alcohol as well as a cap on attendance at sports events and concerts will stay in effect beyond Monday, the previous end date of the state of emergency.
The government on Friday extended the emergency by three weeks as the pace of decline in infections remains slow.
All department stores run by Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. and H2O Retailing Corp., operator of the Hankyu and Hanshin department stores, in Tokyo and Osaka will begin operating on weekdays from Tuesday.
Food courts in the Hankyu and Hanshin department stores will remain open for an hour longer on both weekdays and weekends, closing at 8 p.m.
The temporarily closed Sumida Aquarium located in Tokyo Skytree Town, a commercial complex by the tower of the same name, said Saturday it will reopen on Tuesday.
However, Tokyo Skytree, the tallest structure in Japan and a landmark in the capital, has yet to make a decision regarding the reopening of its observation deck.
Among amusement parks in the country, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka will only open on weekdays, starting Tuesday.
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will maintain shorter business hours until quasi-emergency measures end in Chiba — home to the two theme parks — and four other prefectures on June 20, according to operator Oriental Land Co.
Meanwhile, major movie theater operator United Cinemas Co. and movie studio operator Toei Company Ltd. also announced plans to reopen facilities from Tuesday.
Museums such as the Tokyo National Museum will also welcome back visitors from June.
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