Many in Japan Keep Masks On despite Eased Govt Policy
Osaka/Tokyo, March 13 (Jiji Press)--Most people using public transport in Japan, including commuters, continued wearing face masks on Monday although the government eased its COVID-19 mask-wearing guidelines the same day.
While some welcomed finally being able to take off their masks after about three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, many said they plan to keep using masks due to reasons including the ongoing hay fever season as well as for avoiding infection with the novel coronavirus.
The revised government guidelines leave it up to individuals to decide whether to wear masks both indoors and outdoors.
Many commuters around Osaka Station of West Japan Railway Co. <9021>, or JR West, were wearing masks as they hurried to work. A 51-year-old man who works at a restaurant said that he will continue to wear a mask, saying: "It's for preventing infection, but it's also because I've gotten used to it. I feel more secure when I am wearing a mask."
A 24-year-old student who is slated to begin working next month said, "I'm wearing (a mask) right now because of hay fever." But he added that he may "take it off when the temperature rises and it gets hotter."
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]