Rules on group dining to be further eased in Tokyo

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Tokyo metropolitan government building

Tokyo restaurants that have received a pandemic-related certification from the metropolitan government will be able to serve groups of up to eight diners from Dec. 1.

Due to the improvement in the infection situation, the metropolitan government decided to raise the limit for group dining from four to eight people at a COVID-19 task force meeting on Thursday.

Groups of more than eight diners will be able to sit at the same table in certified restaurants if they present proof of vaccination.

Certain restrictions will be maintained to mitigate a resurgence of coronavirus infections over the holiday period when people are more likely to be traveling and socializing.

The group-dining limit of no more than four people will remain in place for uncertified establishments. The request for such businesses not to serve alcohol after 9 p.m. will also continue.

In line with the central government’s revised basic coronavirus policy, Tokyo venues from Dec. 1 will be able to operate at full capacity, regardless of their size, as long as event organizers have pandemic-related safety plans in place.

The metropolitan government will also resume the “Motto Tokyo” travel discounts for Tokyo residents when the central government’s Go To Travel campaign resumes.

Following the central government’s introduction of a five-level classification to assess the infection situation, the metropolitan government has established its own criteria with an additional level at 2.5 to be used when the number of newly infected patients has reached about 700.

At that level, the metropolitan government will ask restaurants to shorten their business hours.