Public viewing of tuna auctions at Tokyo's Toyosu fish market resumed Monday after an eight-month hiatus due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Eighteen visitors selected by lottery in advance gathered at the market in the early morning and watched from a viewing deck as dealers wearing masks took part in the bidding.

Visitors (foreground C) watch tuna auctions from a viewing deck at the Toyosu fish market in Tokyo on Nov. 2, 2020. (Kyodo)

The fish market, which opened in 2018 to replace the aging Tsukiji market, had suspended public viewings of the auctions Feb. 29 following the outbreak of the virus.

While the market had invited up to 120 spectators per day for the popular event before, capacity has now been cut to 27. Visitors are required to wear face masks, have their temperatures taken and submit their contact information.

"I didn't think we would be able to watch (the auctions) up this close. It was a valuable experience," said a 42-year-old woman from Tokyo who visited with her two sons.

Watching tuna bidding from the market's deck has been a major tourist attraction since it was first held in January last year following the market's relocation from Tsukiji. People can make reservations for the event, which is free of charge, through the market's website or by phone.