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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government decided on Thursday to relax its dining guidelines to request people eat out in groups of no more than eight, instead of the current advised limit of four, following a decrease in coronavirus cases.

The metropolitan government also decided to resume its subsidy program for residents going on trips within the capital. The decisions were made at a COVID-19 task force meeting.

“It’s important to thoroughly implement basic infection prevention measures while resuming social and economic activities,” Gov. Yuriko Koike said after the meeting.

The metropolitan government is calling on people to eat in groups of no more than four per table, in principle, at establishments certified for sufficient infection control. The number will be raised to eight, effective from Dec. 1 to Jan. 16, 2022.

The travel subsidy program, which gives ¥5,000 per night per person, will resume in step with the expected restart of the central government’s Go To Travel tourism promotion program.

To prepare for a possible sixth wave of infections, the Tokyo government will strengthen its medical system for the year-end and New Year’s holiday period.

Specifically, assistance will be expanded for COVID-19 testing centers and medical institutions that accept coronavirus patients.

In addition, the metropolitan government will set up its original mass vaccination centers at some six places to promote the planned third round of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Prior to the task force meeting, the metropolitan government held a meeting of experts, lowering its four-tier medical system assessment to the lowest level. The move followed a decrease in numbers of hospitalized and severely ill patients.

Tokyo is in a situation where it can provide normal medical care steadily while dealing with the pandemic, according to the metropolitan government.

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