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Convenience stores use plastic sheets for social distancing

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The convenience store near my office has self serve check outs which are awesome. I don't have to touch cash, and people don't touch the stuff that I am buying.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Seems like a good idea but I wonder If the virus would stay on the plastic sheet for the next customer? Also maybe they should instruct their staff to wear gloves too.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Good idea.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

A pretty good idea. But they still always touch my hand when giving me change, instead of dropping the coins into my outstretched hand which I place a couple of centimeters below theirs. I have also tried telling them to put the coins in the tray, but that really confuses them.

My most effective strategy is to start unzipping my bag the moment before they hand over the change so I am unable to take it. As they stand there confused holding out their outstretched hand with the coins, I tell them to put the coins in the tray. That usually works, but it's ridiculous I need to do all this. Their training tells them to act like robots -- no deviations allowed, even during a pandemic.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

This will become the new normal.

Be wary of getting near anyone and careful not to touch anything.

Wear gloves and a mask at all times.

This virus is never going away.

-20 ( +9 / -29 )

Regarding wearing gloves: be aware of cross-contamination - unless they are changed each time per customer (which is highly impractical) or disinfect with alcohol after each transaction (while being worn). I have seen a lot of people wearing gloves, touching everything and then hold their phones (texting) which eventually touch their face during calls, or even, shockingly, eat french fries while wearing a pair.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Puttting the coins onto the tray does not eliminate cross-contamination since they also touch those trays from time to time, unless they regularly disinfect the trays, notwithstanding that other people may have also touched the tray before you.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

We are in danger of losing our humanity to this virus. For the past few months, I've found myself compelled to make small talk and to lighten the mood of people, including convenience store clerks. When I went to 7-11 on Sunday and saw this shield, I felt a HUMAN distancing. I couldn't see the face of the employee and it was harder to hear.

It seems to me that in our fear of this virus and precautions taken out of that fear, we may be losing more than we bargained for.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Self serve checkouts are great, but they do not necessarily avoid contamination since food or items displayed may have been previously touched by anyone else. The best way is to wipe the items (wrapped in plastic), canned goods, (1) with antiseptic wipes to deactivate the contagion, (2) leave the items in the shopping bag for 48 hours (in a secure area with no traffic) before using (a study showed coronavirus particles become deactivated after 48 hrs in plastic surfaces, 24 hours in cardboards/paper, and up to 72 hours on metal surfaces).

2 ( +6 / -4 )

the convenience store near where I live took it a notch higher, it only serves people through a window and the staff would go grab the stuff the buyer wants to buy from the shelves and put it in a tray where the customer would also place his payment on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yesterday I happened to go to a local Family Mart convenience store and they also had the plastic curtains. And the Itoyokado supermarket/department store had plastic curtains at the cash registers (prettily printed with cherry blossom designs at the top) and clerks were wearing rubber gloves, as well as laminated signs on all the many benches located around the store asking people not to sit closely. This in a city that has yet to have any confirmed cases in a prefecture with still only a couple dozen cases. Itoyokado had already for weeks been taking measures like positioning bottles of hand sanitizer for customers use at numerous locations (not just as the entrances), wiping down all the baskets with disinfectant twice a day etc.

Jeff Lee, “have also tried telling them to put the coins in the tray, but that really confuses them.”

Comments like this always make me remember years ago when I knew a number of people from the USA who would complain about how the clerks here would never put the change directly into their hand. They seemed to be personally offended by the “cold, inhuman, inconvenient” practice, which was standard at the time.

Invalid CSRF

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@JeffLee

Why not use a credit card (cashless)?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Toshihiro - that is a great idea to eliminate as much as possible any chances of cross-contamination - a "take out" style.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

First a plastic sheet,

next a glass window

finally a steel wall just in case its found looking at someone might pass the virus.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Self serve checkouts are great, but they do not necessarily avoid contamination since food or items displayed may have been previously touched by anyone else.

Of course. There is no way we could have merchandise that are completely sterilized from human touch. That would be costly and nearly impossible. However, convenience store clerks, are in contact with cash (which are high risk items because they changes hands several times a day and are in contact with other notes and coins in the register), which the clerk handles several thousand times a day. I have yet seen a clerk wash their hands after every transaction or come even close to doing so. They touch money, and then they touch your food, potentially spreading the virus.

Although self service doesn't completely eliminate the risk of getting infected, it does cut it down significantly. And another thing I really appreciate is the fact that the convenience store that I use (Famima) has alcohol sprays at the check out stations so you can spray the packaging or the touch screens or whatever.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

From the day the State of Emergency was announced, they put that plastic sheets. Nothing has changed in one day, but because this state of emergency, it looks like the risk has suddenly increased. All this frenzy media and announcements play on people mind. These sheets will not change much but it is more to reassure everyone going to the conbinis, and the staff for sure.

I would like to know how many conbinis staff have been positive up to now, through their work.

It is like social distancing at the cashier, Why doing it suddenly? 50 cm or 1m won’t change much

My only behavior change has been to wash my hands. Mask only when required and no other choice such as my company meetings.

Keep on with your life.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A pretty good idea. But they still always touch my hand when giving me change, instead of dropping the coins into my outstretched hand which I place a couple of centimeters below theirs. I have also tried telling them to put the coins in the tray, but that really confuses them. 

My most effective strategy is to start unzipping my bag the moment before they hand over the change so I am unable to take it. 

All you need to do is pay with a Pasmo or Suica card. Welcome to the 21st century.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This is better than a face guard. I wear a mask when I go out but the problem is it clouds my eyeglasses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder if those plastic sheets actually help. I would suspect that they may make things worse by actually attracting airborne viruses

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Supermarkets and pharmacies here in Australia installed perspex barriers at the checkouts a few weeks back which I think the staff are now thankful for.

@Tora, cash is not banned but shops prefer you use eftpos (tap your debit card) to pay. The only thing I touch at self serve checkout is the screen once or twice but staff wipe that down regularly and most people now carry their own sanitiser/gloves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seems like a good idea but I wonder If the virus would stay on the plastic sheet for the next customer?

Well, be sure not to lick it and you should be fine.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Canada is doing this only they use high quality plexiglass fixtures. The curtain is probably just as effective but cheaper. If Canada is doing it you need not ask if it is effective. Also in Canada the only shops open are supermarkets, pharmacies, alcohol shop and marijuana shops. In all cases they limit numbers and x marks where you stand (2 metres apart) when you queue up to pay.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some of Japan's ubiquitous convenience stores have taken a novel approach to social distancing by hanging plastic sheets 

Novel? The use of plastic sheets to protect the staff at the cash register has been used in many countries in Europe or elsewhere for weeks now.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The woman behind the register at my local Gyomu in Setagaya handled customers with nothing more than a flimsy paper mask. She appeared to be in her 60s.

The Japanese government must work out a system of compensation so that she can stay home out of harm’s way and not need to go to work, given the heightened risk for her age group. It’s so alarming and I think Abe and his crew just don’t care about the lives they are putting as risk.

I’m teary-mad that this country cares so little about its citizens.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

However careful you are, it’s virtually impossible to go through life without touching something that other people have touched.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

My most effective strategy is to start unzipping my bag the moment before they hand over the change so I am unable to take it. As they stand there confused holding out their outstretched hand with the coins, I tell them to put the coins in the tray.

If they have COVID-19, they are still touching your change anyways which you will in turn pick up with your bare hands. Do you wear gloves when picking up your change or go home and spray off your wallet? lol

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sheets need to be cleaned everyday? . . .  Another technique is footprints or tape 6' apart from each other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@japantrojan I understand your fear, but most people believe that this is only temporary. So they’re acting in a way, that it should only be temporary. In other words, once this virus is taken care of, people should go back to the way they were before, for the most part. So as long as that does happen with the virus, I don’t think you need to worry.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And these plastic sheets are a good idea. In fact, I just had to mail something out today (I live in the US) and there was a plastic or glass window where there wasn’t one before. In fact, since it was a box I was mailing out, she unfortunately had to open up the door beside her, and take the package. But yeah, I see it too, and with convenience stores in my area as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

 I don't have to touch cash, and people don't touch the stuff that I am buying.

They had to touch everything you bought to put it on the shelves.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How about some social distancing protection for the consumer?

Like signs or announcing it at the supermarket.

Just yesterday at supermarket the lady behind was so close to me.

She was totally oblivious the the social distancing tape on the floor.

Of course I nicely educated her.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For all those paranoid about touching the clerk's hand, just sanitize your hand on the way out. Also if you touched the money that came from the clerk's hand, then it's basically the same thing so just sanitize afterward - which we all should be doing anyway.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is bogus man. These plastic dividers do nothing dude. Never mind that they work. I wanna see these places shut down and people out of work. Now!

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Wearing gloves spreads germs, unless you change them every time you serve a new customer or complete a task. Look at this video.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-nhs-doctor-gloves-tiktok-video-gloves-surgeon-a9448856.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TheMaster: "Seems like a good idea but I wonder If the virus would stay on the plastic sheet for the next customer? Also maybe they should instruct their staff to wear gloves too."

Do you generally lick plastic sheets that hang from the ceiling in shops? The sheets don't go down to the counters, and you still have room to pass and receive change, goods, and what not, and do not have to make contact with the sheets at all, so there should be no concern. No, that said, you DO still have to handle money and the trays they put it in, and they the money you have touched, have to touch the same screen others do, the same buttons or surfaces, etc. I think they are doing their best, and in fact a lot is being expected of them, but there is not going to be any perfect situation when you enter such shops.

I will say, if they haven't already, they should ban people touching and opening magazines. Wrap them all, or demand they are put in plastic, when you get them, and don't allow people to handle them (or at least not to read) unless buying.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I noticed not only 7-11 has them, but Daiso too. Also since the original SOE in Hokkaido staff have been handing me change via the receipt. Don't know if that's particularly useful, but nice to try not to touch hands? Haha.

I just wash or sanitise my hands when entering and leaving any stores.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@JCosplay: I've developed a mantra for 2020 that starts with:

I don't know, we'll see ...

So sure it IS a DEEP fear of mine--that our collective fear of death is causing us to lose sight of Life--but you'll notice I did write it in the present tense.

Personally, I see this situation as an invitation to dig very deep into oneself, and to ponder these Big Picture questions.

No, I don't know the answer and we'll see where it goes. I hope you are right but having lived through the "temporary" changes post 9/11 and seeing them not revert, well, I suspect that these behaviors which really are, IMHO, denying aspects of our basic humanity, MAY be normalized.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

After this comes and goes (whenever that is), can we finally get past the misinformation of Japan being so high-tech?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There isn't much point in erecting plastic screens if the customers are still allowed to pick up items, touch them all over, and then replace them on the shelf. Old ladies in particular seem to enjoy this activity. There should be a new rule that if you pick up, or touch an item, you have to buy it. That would stop the old dears leaving virus all over the shop.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I just wish the cashiers would return my change into the dish instead of insisting on handing it to me hand to hand. I usually open my coin purse to try and avoid physical contact. Is that weird? I was never that way before, but I am now.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Money is dirty. It doesn’t matter if the cashier touches it or not, thousands of people have touched it before them. That is why you are supposed to wash your hands frequently and stop touching your face.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I shop with a pair of chopsticks, don't touch anything. Really safe.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Luddite

Of course the money is dirty.

I was referring to the physical touch which is often involved.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If it gets worse, it will be like going to a 24hr gas station after the inside closes.

Some Family Mart's offer self checkout. The same is true with the Supermarkets. I know of at least one 24hr supermarket that is also self-checkout.

This is the new norm! More self-serve and more cashless!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To JeffLee,

Have you ever heard of MOBILE PAY or do 7 Elevens in Japan not have this technological advancement?

I live in Honolulu, Hawaii and I use mobile pay (Samsung Pay) for all my purchases everywhere I go including 7 Eleven.

Even before COVID-19, I have always used mobile pay. Cash and coins are filthy and you don't know where they've been.

Mobile pay is so easy, faster and much more convenient. An app allows you to directly link your purchases to your financial institution's checking account and it keeps a record of each purchase.

There are no receipts and you avoid handling dirty money. One swipe of your phone and your done and out the door.

I suggest, not only to you, but everyone to utilize this method for making all your purchases.

Technology has offered us a clean and safe way to go to any store and purchase items vital to our livelihoods. I see no reason for not taking advantage of this.

Get on board JeffLee and welcome to the 21st century.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

a very clever idea. For eikaiwa schools, they should start with the glass walls with intercoms

Have you ever heard of MOBILE PAY or do 7 Elevens in Japan not have this technological advancement?

some cities in China already have the staff less stores. Japanese like "service" so dont expect it any decade soon

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Mr. Noidall

Your explicit negativity does not help the situation. Maybe you don't need to work or you work from home, but a lot of people rely on a job in order to sustain their livelihoods. Furthermore, convenience stores are essential services along with their employees if you weren't informed.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

One thing I will give the Japanese is that they usually provide a uniquely Japanese solution to a problem when confronted. Such a common sense solution in my country would be met with all kinds of resistance, due to the lack of common sense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Stormcrow. Hands, money, food - it doesn’t matter what you touch the principle is the same. WASH YOUR HANDS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Luddite

Of course it's always a good idea to wash one's hands, but wouldn't it be far better to be no hand to hand contact at all? Just put the change in the coin dish and avoid the hand to hand contact altogether. Doesn't that make more sense to you?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

a very clever idea. For eikaiwa schools, they should start with the glass walls with intercoms

LOL! You mean visiting someone in jail or prison. I would like to see that.

I remember Nova was offering online one-on-one classes in 2004. They were ahead of their time in many ways; unfortunately, another narcissist ran the company into the ground like a narcissist is running the US into the ground!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The photograph is weird. It must be taken at the only 7-11 store in Japan not to have a wall of packets of ciggies behind the register.

COVID-19 absolutely loves smokers and attacks their weakened lungs like they were chocolate covered ice cream desserts. Conbini stores-stop selling cigs and vapor-cigs. Make your profits on something else. We all pay for this nicotine addiction with our national health insurance.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They've been doing that for a couple of weeks in The Daiso near me. Its alright, but the plastic they use is kinda frosted and opaque, thus it's difficult to make knowing eye contact with staff. So you end up going aroung the side and invading their quarantined zone.

Some staff have taken to rocking those Darth Vader style shields that grannies wear on their tricycles. That's proper WHO style.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

7-11 in Kanagawa have had the plastic sheets for a week. Seem quite clean as well.

Touching your phone to a device to pay is just like handling paper cash and coins.

Chopsticks picking up your items off a shelf and putting them in a case to bring to the register will not help. Someone already touched the items putting them on the shelves. People like me pick up items all the time to look at them, read the ingredients and last date of purchase.

One thing great is that their are alcohol sprays all over the place.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Stormcrow. It’s impossible to avoid some contact. Just wash your hands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone else reading these comments feel that things are getting a bit dystopian?

I feel like people are letting the fear of death control them too much. Life is full of danger and sometimes death comes early. The virus is just one of many things that can kill us.

A nice little dose of stoicism and nihilism once in awhile dont hurt.

-30 (+15 / -45)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oddly my local Lawson in Tokyo started selling Corona beer at a discount today. I think it is kind of tone deaf.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

for me, a barrier like ointment on the hands, then gloves, and staying underweight, eating lots of green and lean foods and eating garlic and zinc, lot of mucous movement, seems to keep me healthy; for the virus who know but....

basically I do the opposite of most Japanese. no smoke or drink, stay out of my room and eat healthy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

JeffLeeToday 06:51 am JST

For better or worse, at least they are willing to touch your hand :-)

Never had that happen to me while in Japan - money's always in the tray for me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For better or worse, at least they are willing to touch your hand :-)

It happens to me all the time. Some will even grab your hand when giving back change. Virus or not, they need to stop doing this cause its super creepy!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There should be a new rule that if you pick up, or touch an item, you have to buy it. 

Who's going to enforce this rule? Nobody.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The more you think about it, its those cashless companies(from china) that benefits not using cash,

so they start this sickness(they have invested in the medical field) they profit from everywhere!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's what we see at CVS drug store in US, plastic barriers between customers and pharmacists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some convenience stores like at Speedway they've been doing this all along for years. It helps keep them from getting robbed. It's hard enough to stick a pistol in the underneath slot, let alone get away with the crime due to surveyience cameras.

RecklessApr. 14 04:53 pm JSTOddly my local Lawson in Tokyo started selling Corona beer at a discount today. I think it is kind of tone deaf.

Bad pun. Corona beer is yucky!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mirai HayashiApr. 14 06:48 am JST

The convenience store near my office has self serve check outs which are awesome. I don't have to touch cash, and people don't touch the stuff that I am buying

You do realize that customers touch your food and other stuff when browsing, same with employees when stocking and adjusting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any little thing that reduces virus droplets from reaching your respiratory system helps

(Remember, this virus infects thru the respiratory system - not simply by touching. So as long as ya don't reach for your face after touching something that may be infected, you're OK - just wash your hands or use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. People seem to forget that. Ya don't get infected thru just your skin - it has to be thru your respiratory system)

And these safety measures are only temporary - several weeks or a few months. So just bear with it in that time. Surely we can do that

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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