Japan’s bars, restaurants welcomes back drinkers as COVID-19 controls ease

TOKYO: On Friday, typhoon winds and rain dampened what might have been a more celebratory mood in Tokyo. Moreover, restaurants were allowed to sell alcohol and stay open later following the lifting of the latest COVID-19 state of emergency.

According to Suntory Holdings, during the preparatory period until Friday, orders for beer barrels and bottles increased by 230% compared to the previous week. Reopening of beer halls by Kirin Holdings and Sapporo Holdings have been done with infection control measures such as plastic dividers, air quality meters and restrictions on the number of people per party.

However, if the cases subside and the number of fully vaccinated Japanese reaches 60% of the population, it will be still above the United States but according to public health experts, the country is yet in emergency.

It has been decided that restaurants and bars can only serve alcohol until 8 pm and are required to close at 9 pm. The government has stated that the implementations  of a system to check the status of vaccinations and COVID -19 testing could really lift these restrictions further. Therefore, as said by Professor Koji Wada of the International University of Health and Welfare “I’m worried about the possibility of a rebound this winter that could bring things back”.

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