The Tokyo metropolitan government is set to remove restrictions on sports gyms in the second phase of its three-step plan to ease business suspension requests in the capital following the lifting of Japan's state of emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
Establishments such as gyms and karaoke boxes, deemed to be high-risk environments for cluster infections, were originally set to reopen only after restrictions on all other businesses had been lifted.
Karaoke boxes will be able to reopen in the third phase of the capital's road map, which was revised following the inclusion of such establishments in the central government's post-emergency policy on Monday.
Although restrictions on bars will also be eased in the third phase, a decision has yet to be made on when live music venues, hostess bars and nightclubs can resume operations.
Tokyo entered phase one on Tuesday with the reopening of museums, libraries and indoor sports facilities. Restaurants, which had been asked to stop providing alcohol by 7 p.m. and close by 8 p.m., can now stay open and offer alcohol until 10 p.m.
The capital has also specified limits on the holding of events based on guidelines released by the central government. In phases one and two, the maximum number of attendees will be limited to 100 for indoor events, and 200 for outdoor events.
Phase three will allow for events to gradually increase in scale, although people will still be required to maintain a reasonable distance between each other.
"I want to ask (businesses) in each industry to safely provide their services while adhering to the guidelines," Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike told reporters following a task force meeting on Tuesday.
The metropolitan government is considering moving to phase two, in which theaters, cinemas and cram schools can reopen, as early as this month provided infection number and other criteria are met.