Japan to further ease virus-triggered rules on big events as planned
Kyodo -- Jul 07
Japan will relax its coronavirus-induced rules on holding big events from Friday as planned, boosting the maximum number of people allowed at an indoor venue to 5,000, a minister said Monday.

A revamped government expert panel gave the go-ahead to the plan to take a further step away from emergency mode, on the premise that preventive measures against the virus are taken, said economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of the government's coronavirus response.

Starting Friday, the number of people allowed to gather at indoor venues for sporting events or music concerts will increase to a maximum 5,000 at a time from the current 1,000. The venues should be at 50 percent capacity.

Japan's professional baseball and soccer games have been held without spectators but both leagues plan to start allowing them in line with the government move from Friday.

The 18-member panel includes experts in medicine, public health policy and economics as well as a prefectural governor.

The government had received advice from a similar panel of medical experts in navigating through the coronavirus epidemic before and in the midst of Japan's state of emergency.

But the previous panel, which was apparently misconstrued by some as setting policies for the government, was suddenly scrapped last month.

The new panel will mainly assess the infection situation, discuss how to allow more economic activities to resume and increase virus testing.

News source: Kyodo
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