Japan Relaxes Some COVID Capacity Restrictions, Resumes Alcohol Sales

Universal Studios Japan
– Universal Studios Japan

The Japanese government on Oct. 1 allowed the pandemic-related state of emergency that had been in effect in most of the country since last spring to expire, thus freeing many entertainment-related businesses to increase business hours and resume serving alcohol. The biggest theme parks in Japan consequently announced that they will increase the maximum number of visitors each day.

Oriental Land Company, which operates Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, increased daily admissions from 5,000 to 10,000 starting Oct. 1. However, the company will maintain for the time being the shortened operating hours—10 a.m. to 7 p.m.— that it implemented when the state of emergency was declared. In a statement, Oriental Land said, “We will continue to operate the parks in accordance with the requests of the government and local authorities, giving top priority to the health and safety of our guests and cast members.”

Universal Studios Japan in Osaka will also increase maximum attendance from 5,000 to 10,000 visitors per day. 

In addition, sales of alcoholic beverages will resume “gradually,” according to the Mainichi newspaper, at all three parks. 

The number of COVID infections in Japan has dropped significantly since the end of summer. On October 4, the number in Tokyo fell below 100 for the first time since November 2020.

On October 4, Creativeman Productions released a statement saying that in the two weeks since it held the two-day Supersonic music festival in a suburb of Tokyo, there has been no reports of infections among visitors, staff or artists who attended or participated in the festival. Supersonic was the first large-scale music festival held since the pandemic began in Japan to include overseas artists, and has been considered by many to be a test case for reopening Japan’s concert scene to foreign acts.