Japan has begun a new chapter of the pandemic — albeit one fraught with fresh challenges — after national coronavirus countermeasures were lifted completely for the first time in nearly half a year.

Over the next month, prefectural governors will take charge of gradually peeling back measures to prevent a viral rebound, while the central government, under new leadership, shifts its focus toward booster shots as it initiates the trial phase of its pandemic exit strategy.

This isn’t the country’s first attempt to revive the economy following a bout with the virus. But with more than 60% of the population fully vaccinated, a heated debate over the need for additional doses, the proliferation of the delta variant and the appointment Monday of a new prime minister, the coming weeks could bring a sea of change.