Japan is set to remove the current spectator attendance limit for large-scale events as the spread of coronavirus infections slows, government officials familiar with the plan said Wednesday.
Under a quasi-state of emergency, now in place in Tokyo and 17 prefectures until March 21, a maximum of 20,000 people are allowed to participate in such events as long as they wear face masks and do not speak loudly.
The country will also scrap the rule that all spectators need to provide proof of being negative for COVID-19 if the number of attendees exceeds the 20,000 cap, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The government will formally decide on the plan next week after consulting with a panel of health experts, they said, adding the 10,000 cap under a full state of emergency might also be lifted.
The daily infection count across the country stood at 63,742 on Wednesday, about 10,000 lower than a week ago.
A group of infectious disease experts advising the health ministry said the same day that the number of new positive cases is on a declining trend, although its pace is slow.
The advisory panel, however, pointed out that the daily count may stay high for a while as infections among the young and elderly are continuing while warning against the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, thought to be more contagious than the original.