Photo/Illutration Commuters wear face masks in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on June 1, after the Tokyo metropolitan government moved to “Step 2” of its three-stage road map on easing restrictions on businesses. (Shiro Nishihata)

The Tokyo metropolitan government on June 1 entered “Step 2” of its three-stage road map on easing business restrictions despite failing to tick all the boxes in its guidelines concerning the novel coronavirus.

The move means that movie and other theaters, cram schools, sport gyms and most commercial facilities are no longer under metropolitan government requests to shut down because of the virus.

Restaurants can continue operating from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., and alcohol can also be served until this hour.

The metropolitan government adopted a seven-point guideline on issuing a special “Tokyo Alert” for increased vigilance against a possible new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.

One point for the alert was if the average ratio of COVID-19 patients whose sources of infections are unknown over the most recent week exceeded 50 percent.

In the latest week for the capital, the routes of infections were unknown for 52.9 percent of the patients.

However, the government on June 1 stuck to the Step 2 decision announced on May 29 that was based on an assessment of experts, who said it is no longer difficult to gauge the spread of the disease in the capital.

The Tokyo government moved to Step 1 at midnight on May 25, when the state of emergency was lifted.

Under Step 1, restrictions were eased for museums, libraries and schools, while sports facilities can hold events without spectators in the stands.