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Tokyo bar uses 'fish bowl' screens to lure back virus-wary clients

by Reuters
Thursday, 20 August 2020 11:10 GMT

TOKYO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - A bar in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district has installed fish bowl-like screens designed to protect against coronavirus transmission, aiming to lure back clients worried about the risks of COVID-19.

The Jazz Lounge En Counter bar reopened in late June, having shut down for several weeks after the government declared a nationwide state of emergency in April.

But with revenues down 70% to 80% compared with pre-pandemic levels, the bar decided to step up efforts to ensure customers feel safer.

"If we don't take firm steps we wouldn't be responding to customers' requests. And they wouldn't visit us because they're worried," said manager Katsutoshi Iwazaki.

The conical, clear acrylic screens - which were demonstrated to Reuters by bar staff on a recent visit - hang from the ceiling and envelop the customers' head and shoulders, acting as a barrier between them and other drinkers, as well as servers. Employees said they, too, felt more protected.

"I can't talk to them (customers) safely if there's a risk of droplet infection. But I feel very safe now with this measure," said 27 year-old staff member Mako Aoki. (Reporting by Akiko Okamoto, Akira Tomoshige and Hideto Sakai; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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