Japan is all set to lift the COVID-19 related emergency in six prefectures starting Monday. These are: Aichi, Gifu, Fukuoka, Hyogo, Kyoto and Osaka.

The emergency is being lifted ahead of schedule, as it was originally expected to continue till March 7. However, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Friday that the government will lift the state of emergency as there was a significant fall in number of new infections and hospital bed occupancy rate.

Restaurants and bars will may now remain open beyond the previous 8 PM deadline. Japan Times reported that, operators will receive ¥40,000 in daily benefits, in principle, if they agree to close by 9 PM.

However, the emergency will continue in Tokyo where 329 new cases were reported on Sunday. The emergency will also continue in three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba.

The move has elicited mixed reactions amidst fears of a resurgence in cases. Meanwhile, no decision has been taken to cancel the Olympics that are all set to take place in the country this summer.

*Feature image by Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons.