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Tokyo area set to end COVID-19 restrictions on eateries

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Wondering when the masks can come off? Societal norms within Japan currently allow us to take masks off and speak freely in crowded enclosed dining establishments, but require us to have face coverings when walking through an uncrowded outdoor park or garden (like Koishikawa Korakuen). It doesn’t seem to make much sense.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

Fantastic news!

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Looks like the sky is falling brigade want to stay under lockdown and never leave their houses again...

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

This is great news!

No restrictions on eateries pretty much means no restrictions on everything else

14 ( +21 / -7 )

@Asiaman7

The mask comes off when you so choose. There has never been a mask order in Japan. It was simply the right thing to do during a pandemic.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

The masks are never coming off. I think we all know that.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Right before elections, convenient! Then the numbers will rise again after the election like magic and another lockdown!

6 ( +14 / -8 )

I can picture Mr Kipling, sitting in a pub, worse for wear from alcohol, at 11:00 pm in the near future!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

What about the other prefectures?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What restrictions? I was drinking and eating in Shibuya the other day. Nobody was wearing masks and the place was open till 3am.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Wondering when the masks can come off? 

Lol. Unfortunately, never. The perpetual nightmare isn't going away so easily.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The government has been giving away an estimated equivalent of a billion dollars plus of taxpayers' money daily to bars and eateries whilst the taxpayer got 10 man and 2 dirty masks. Restrictions were lifted just in time for the general elections. An estimated 25% of bars and restaurants will just close their doors now the cash cow has dried up and sail off into the sunset. Get ready for your COVID tax coming soon to be announced just after the elections...

6 ( +11 / -5 )

well it's about time.....but if they are doing it from Monday....why not just do from, I dunno....today?? I'm sure these final 3 days over the weekend are gonna make a HUUUUUUGE difference

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Don't treat non high risk people with anything! Allow natural immunity to do its Job! Which by the way is exactly what Japan has done by default! Well Done Japan you are now the poster boy for the rest of the world!

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

@jeffb 08:13 am JST

The mask comes off when you so choose. There has never been a mask order in Japan.

Virtually all stores, gyms, parks (with ticketed entrances), amusement areas, etc. in Japan require masks for entrance.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

My mask never really went on.......I wear one in work because they pay me to do so, I carry one in my pocket so if staff at various places ask me to wear one, I will as I want to use whatever it is I am at but unless directly asked, I don't wear one. That has been 2 years on public transport, in bars and restaurants that I didn't really stop going to......wearing a mask will never be the norm for me.

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

@Sheikh

Damn what a cool guy. Truly a lion in this world of sheep.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

@Sheikh

In other words, you were thoroughly uncooperative because you thought you knew better during a time when the country was at its darkest hour for perhaps 50 years. Well done! Glad you came to the party.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Japan's decrease in cases is inexplicable even if the numbers are tweaked. The positivity rate has dropped massively so it can't just be explained away by a reduction in the number of tests done. Still a good idea to keep masks on when inside at least. Getting rids of masks too soon may have been some other countries' mistake (like the UK which is seeing 40,000 new cases a day even though over 70% are fully vaccinated). Anyone else think that it does seem that this virus is more contagious/harmful to Caucasians and Black people than Asian people? Don't want to believe that the virus was cooked up in a lab to harm some races more than others but.....China does need to show more transparency regarding this. If not, it certainly looks like there is something to hide.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

My mask never really went on.......I wear one in work because they pay me to do so, I carry one in my pocket so if staff at various places ask me to wear one, I will as I want to use whatever it is I am at but unless directly asked, I don't wear one. That has been 2 years on public transport, in bars and restaurants that I didn't really stop going to......wearing a mask will never be the norm for me.

Given your strong principles on this, I’m surprised you caved in to work pressure.

Keep shining the light part-time.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

This is tentative good news, but I'm with the cynics here in thinking this is temporary ahead of the election.

Then, BAM! More "cases," real or imagined.

In any case, prionqueen and I will be taking advantage of the situation.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

This is what happens when you forge numbers. You come to the wrong conclusion and make the wrong decisions. Jgov should never be trusted with anything.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

serendipitous1Today  09:23 am JST

"Anyone else think that it does seem that this virus is more contagious/harmful to Caucasians and Black people than Asian people?"

The reason is simple : Natural immunity followed by a healthy population with low levels of obesity, diabetes and the multitude of other co-morbidities that western unhealthy lifestyle creates and seems to make them more susceptible to severe illness from Covid.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Simple explanations for simple minds. Don't let simple facts get in your way.

In recent years there has been rapid growth in diabetes in Japan which now is one of the nations most affected by the worldwide diabetes epidemic... Approximately 13.5% of the Japanese population now has either type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. 

So according to your reasoning, Japan should be badly hit by Covid, precisely because it has one of the worst diabetes problems. Also cardiovascular issues, particularly complications of hypertension, would make huge numbers of people vulnerable to Covid complications. That's around 23% of male adults and 17% of women.

Oh, and then there's cancer, which is the leading cause of death in Japan. All those cancer patients are very vulnerable to severe Covid.

And as for 'natural immunity', you seem to assume it's like some kind of magic invisible cloak that you are born wearing, that wards off evil viruses. But levels of immunity are not static, they're in constant flux, and if viruses are constantly mutating to evade an organism's defenses, then how could it be some kind of 'birthright'? Even the immunity conferred by exposure to a virus is not static, which is why you might have got flu last season, but that does not guarantee you immunity from this year's variant. The same is happening with this coronavirus, so what was true 18 months ago does not necessarily hold today.

So not simple, complex, which is why experts say it's puzzling. And I'm not a scientist, so I'm not going to come to any conclusions, as I'm not qualified.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@Asiaman7

The mask comes off when you decide to take it off, it is a personal decision. Nobody is going to give you permission to return to a properly oxygenated brain, you need to do that for yourself.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

as_the_crow_fliesToday  10:43 am JST

Simple explanations for simple minds. Don't let simple facts get in your way.

Wow how's your job at Pfizer going???

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-stat-report.html

10% in the us with diabtetes... A futher 30% or 88million with prediabetes.

https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

42.4%!!!! of the US population Obese!!!!

Yeh I'm going to stop now because there DOES seem to be a simple answer.....

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Back to old normal

Bye bye fake 'new' normal

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The timing is perfect! Make everyone in happy mood just within a week before the election, so that people will vote for the status quo = LDP... Smart move!!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@John  11:38 am JST

The mask comes off when you decide to take it off, it is a personal decision. Nobody is going to give you permission to return to a properly oxygenated brain, you need to do that for yourself.

I don't think my gym is going to tolerate me oxygenating my brain without a mask.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What a pity, you are the only exception. Because with your theory it seems they couldn’t set you in a happy mood. Would you have preferred much harsher restrictions for everyone , businesses and guests, just only to diminish a little bit the LDP election chances instead? lol

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Well Done Japan you are now the poster boy for the rest of the world!

Oh dear

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I have never wore a mask outside as it does not make any sense.

Inside, it is for social manners rather than anything else.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

"Societal norms within Japan currently allow us to take masks off and speak freely in crowded enclosed dining establishments, but require us to have face coverings when walking through an uncrowded outdoor park or garden (like Koishikawa Korakuen). It doesn’t seem to make much sense."!

Look, they are just trying to get people to wear masks as much as practically possible to reduce transmission. In a restaurant you can't eat and drink with a mask. But you can talk. So if you are finished eating for a while you can put your mask back on.

As for being outside, if there are no people around I take off my mask.

This talking about logic is getting ridiculous. It's also illogical maybe to have the same speed limits for the best drivers as the worst, and you can argue that 105 should be okay in some areas, but you'd be arguing forever. Just stop whining. Masks won't kill you

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Looks like the sky is falling brigade want to stay under lockdown and never leave their houses again...

left my house nearly everyday for the entire pandemic, but wore my mask social distanced and am now fully vaccinated as is my family , and nobody in my family were infected.

Now its time for those to get their vaccines passports ready if they want to travel overseas in Japan and even when eating at many restaurants. If youre not vaccinated thats fine but dont expect the majority of the population to pander to your needs or decisions.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I sincerely hope the downward trend continues, BUT, I think there is a chance we will once again pay the price of easing restrictions too soon.....

Only time will tell, personally I think we should be cautious till next spring, but looks like this opening up will happen so in my opinion its a gamble.

I hope Japan wins.....but its not without risk & yeah this opening & an election......doesnt sit good with me at all!!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As a foreigner in Japan, I keep the mask on despite seeing many Japanese without one. Dont want to be "that guy", you know, the foreigner that won't wear a mask. When the majority of Japanese are not wearing them on the streets, I'll take mine off.

Bars are restaurants are a different issue. No-one wears them in there.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Good. Now do something about the border restrictions on residents.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I get mad props from my coworkers for masking up.

you Gotta play the part if you wanna win the game.

I don’t mind a bit. Rather a mask than another wave. Japan has been much better situation and less restrictions than most countries and the non sense political divide a 3 ply mask brings with it. Happy where I am at even with a mask. When the time comes I will take it off, and probably lick a train ring handle for good measure.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Can’t wait to go to Jvogue in Ginza!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“wtfjapanToday  12:44 pm JST

If youre not vaccinated thats fine but dont expect the majority of the population to pander to your needs or decisions.”

i don’t expect you to do anything except follow your own path! Sadly sounds like you and the 1984 crew don’t allow others to do the same!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures decided to no longer place any restrictions on dining establishments serving alcohol or their operating hours from Monday. They will also remove limits on the number of customers who can visit eateries at the same time.

The alcohol thing has been ridiculous from the start, but it is too soon to relax the restrictions on crowds of customers. Give it 3 more weeks, and if the new infections stay low, maybe it's okay.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So one story says that restrictions will be eased, yet another story says some places will require proof of vaccination.

Requiring proof is a restriction. Can't have it both ways.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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