Year-End Parties Still Few despite Low Coronavirus Cases

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 10 (Jiji Press)--As Japan enters its second year-end season under the novel coronavirus pandemic, workers are continuing to shun eating and drinking together in person despite low infection numbers nationwide.

Many seem to be wary of a possible sixth wave of infections, especially after the emergence of the new omicron variant.

Sukehei, an "izakaya" Japanese-style pub specializing in soba noodles in Tokyo's Shinbashi business district, has gone to great lengths to prevent coronavirus infections, setting up acrylic boards between tables and requiring all staff members to wear masks.

Manager Makoto Fujimori, 44, said that despite the measures, "sales are less than half of precoronavirus levels, albeit recovering from last year."

"It can't be helped that people have worries" about the omicron strain, Fujimori said. "I won't ask for a full return to precoronavirus levels, but I hope sales will at least get back to around 80 pct (of the levels)."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press