Tokyo to further relax coronavirus curbs on Monday, governor says

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike speaks to the media after a telephone conference with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Tokyo, Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Curbs in Japan's capital of Tokyo to contain the coronavirus are to be eased further from Monday, Governor Yuriko Koike said, citing the recommendation of an advisory panel.

Cram schools, gyms, and theatres are among the facilities that will be allowed to reopen in a phased relaxation process, Koike told a news conference on Friday.

The city can "move to the next step of the phased easing of curbs, as long as Tokyo takes the necessary precautions to contain the spread of the virus", she quoted the panel as having said.

Koike later confirmed in a nightly live broadcast that 22 people in Tokyo had tested positive for the virus on Friday, the first time the number has gone above 20 for 15 days, and noted that the number of new cases had been rising slightly in recent days.

"This is a little bit of a concern," she said, adding that the virus hasn't disappeared and people must remain vigilant.

"I call on all those places that will be reopening to carry out thorough measures to prevent contagion."

Japan lifted its state of emergency for Tokyo this week, following a drop in daily infections. The country has recorded about 17,000 infections and some 900 deaths from the virus.


(Reporting by Sakura Murakami and Elaine Lies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)