An "izakaya" Japanese-style pub in Osaka has started distributing free face shields for use by its customers in the hope of regaining drinkers after the coronavirus state of emergency was lifted last week.
The izakaya offering hot-pot dishes in Osaka's Chuo Ward introduced the novel step on Monday. The transparent face shields protect against droplets in face-to-face socializing and allow customers to enjoy drinking safely.
"I think it is a good idea. It's one way to enrich the new lifestyle" that people will need to adopt to prevent the coronavirus from spreading widely again, said a female customer in her 30s who sipped whiskey and soda through a straw while wearing the face shield.
In Osaka, western Japan, a state of emergency over the coronavirus spread that had been in place since April 7 was lifted last Thursday, leading to a relaxation of curbs on business operations.
The izakaya owner Tetsuo Miyama, 43, said sales for April were just 30 percent of what he would have expected in the month without the pandemic as the pub had to shorten its operating hours under the state of emergency.
He expressed hope that the face shields will help attract customers who refrained from going out during the emergency.