For Safe Business Operation: Our Recommendations
Restaurants in General and Their Customers

Recommendations to Restaurants/Bars in General and Their Employees

Introduction

The clubs that participated in our research study were making various efforts to prevent infections. What was learned through our research at the clubs can be applied to restaurants/bars in general.

Based on the knowledge gained from our research, this website lists 5 recommendations for restaurants/bars and their employees.
Please use this information as guidance to check how well you are practicing infection prevention measures and what you should be careful of in the future when implementing them.

1. How to ask customers to wear masks
Ask customers to keep their masks on when not eating; employees should not use mouth shields (instead of masks)

To lower the risk of infection

Many of the employees at the clubs we visited were wearing masks whenever possible. However, unfortunately, among all the establishments, only a small proportion of the customers were wearing a mask. We can assume that at restaurants/bars in general, a similar or even lower proportion of their customers wear masks (because they need to take it off when eating).

It's been reported that having everyone wear a mask—with or without symptoms—lowers the risk of infection, and this is crucial in preventing the spread of this infectious disease.

Restaurants can, for example, ask their customers in advance when they arrive to keep their masks on while waiting for their meals and also after they finish eating. If it's difficult to ask customers to wear a mask, restaurants can make the request with posters or other notice signs. We are also advising (requesting) customers to wear a mask through this site.

Supported by Data

Based on numerous research findings and investigations, several countries recommend universal masking (having everyone wear a mask).
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States has made a comprehensive assessment based on a variety of evidence (e.g., outbreak investigations, observational epidemiological studies, and laboratory simulation experiments). It's reported that having everyone wear a mask can help control the spread of infection in communities—it lowers both the risk of transmitting the virus to others and the risk of getting infected(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/masking-science-sars-cov2.html).

Wear a mask, not a mouth/face shield

A mask can be a cloth mask. However, mouth and face shields (without wearing a mask) haven't been proven effective in preventing infection, so please wear a mask.

2. Ventilate the premise

Create a path for the air to circulate

It might be difficult to keep the windows or doors open at restaurants, but use a ventilator or circulator to create a path for the air to circulate toward the entrance and provide as much ventilation as possible.

Don't forget the maintenance

We tend to forget to clean and maintain our ventilator or circulator, but it's important to do so for effective ventilation, so please carry out regular maintenance.

3. Sanitize your hands correctly

We found that people's awareness for hand sanitation (washing hands and using rubbing alcohol and other hand sanitizers) at the clubs we visited was very high, but there were two things that needed improvement.

Check the list of ingredients of sanitizers

We found some establishments were using hand sanitizers improperly.

As a rule, it's recommended that we sanitize hands with the following products:
・Alcohol-based sanitizers (Check the concentration of alcohol. It needs to be at least 60%—preferably 70% or higher—to be effective.)
・Washing hands with running water and soap is believed to be effective. Don't be misled by advertising, and make sure you check the list of ingredients.

Don't be misled by advertisements, and make sure you check the list of ingredients.

Sanitize at the right timing

We found that some employees were not sanitizing their hands at appropriate moments.

We tend to get satisfied with disinfecting the environment around us, but that's not enough.
You can get infected with the virus by touching your face with contaminated hands.

We can't avoid touching our faces or touching things that go into our mouths, so make sure you sanitize your hands before and after touching something that many people touch; it’s also important to do so when leaving or taking a seat at the table.

4. Monitor your health every day

Key symptoms

Refer to the following checklist.

Download the checklist

Taking actions when symptoms appear is key to infection prevention

SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted from an asymptomatic person (including a person who hasn't yet developed symptoms) to others.
However, it's thought that the viral load peaks right around the time of symptom onset, so taking action when symptoms appear will also be vital.
While many of the clubs we visited were taking temperatures, few of them were keeping a record of them.

Use a checklist to keep a daily health record and avoid missing any changes in your health

There are many cases in particular where people don't develop a fever or have one just for a day, so prepare a checklist of symptoms (such as sore throat, coughing, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell), and keep a daily record at the workplace.
If any of your employees are experiencing any of the symptoms, ask them to take time off from work for the sake of your business, other employees, and customers.

Don't feel relieved even when your fever breaks

Don't feel relieved that you develop a fever and it breaks the next day. Take time off from work and go visit a medical facility.

5. Protect the Vulnerable

Anyone can get seriously ill

It's believed that young adults and people without underlying health conditions are less likely to have severe COVID-19. However, although rare, it is possible.
We found in interviews that some infected employees had difficulty breathing and required an oxygen supply. There are also others struggling with long-term effects, such as loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing, and fatigue.
Keep in mind that these can happen to you, too.

Remember that you can lose your loved ones when the infection spreads

Having no elderly persons or people with underlying health conditions around you, you might think you don't have to worry about people who become seriously ill with the virus. However, your family and loved ones can get infected and become severely ill once this virus spreads beyond your immediate community. Therefore, it is important to take these issues personally.

Don't get infected, don't spread the infection, and protect those who need medical treatment at a hospital

If many people get seriously ill with COVID-19, hospitals can get overwhelmed by those patients, and be unable to treat patients with other illnesses or injuries. While your actions might not seem to be directly related, your efforts to not get infected and not spread infection will consequently help protect the vulnerable.

Conclusion

This is a difficult time for all of us, but it's important to put in place measures against the spread of infections by practicing these recommendations, with the goal of lowering the risk of infection as much as possible.

Recommendations for Customers of Restaurants/Bars in General

Introduction

The clubs that participated in our research study were making various efforts to prevent infections. What was learned through our research at the clubs can be applied to restaurants/bars in general.

Based on the knowledge gained from our research, this website lists 5 recommendations for restaurants/bars in general. Please use this information as guidance to check how well you are practicing infection prevention measures and what you should be careful of in the future when implementing them.

1. Keep your mask on when not eating

To lower the risk of infection

Many of the employees at the clubs we visited were wearing masks whenever possible. However, unfortunately, among all the establishments, only a small proportion of the customers were wearing a mask. We can assume that at restaurants/bars in general, a similar or even lower proportion of their customers wear masks (because they need to take it off when eating).

It's been reported that having everyone wear a mask—with or without symptoms—lowers the risk of infection, and this is crucial in preventing the spread of this infectious disease.

In particular, as is typical in izakayas and restaurants, not wearing a mask when having a conversation in close proximity will make it more likely for people to get infected.

Please try to keep your mask on, for instance, while waiting for your meal, after you finish eating, and when chatting with people at the same table. And it is also a good idea to split the time between eating and chatting as much as possible.

Supported by Data

Based on numerous research findings and investigations, several countries recommend universal masking (having everyone wear a mask).
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States has made a comprehensive assessment based on a variety of evidence (e.g., outbreak investigations, observational epidemiological studies, and laboratory simulation experiments). It's reported that having everyone wear a mask can help control the spread of infection in communities—it lowers both the risk of transmitting the virus to others and the risk of getting infected(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/masking-science-sars-cov2.html).

Wear a mask, not a mouth/face shield

A mask can be a cloth mask. However, mouth and face shields (without wearing a mask) haven't been proven effective in preventing infection, so please wear a mask.

2. Don't get too drunk

To maintain your awareness for preventing infection

When drunk, even people who are able to practice measures against infection when they're sober can let their guard down on preventive measures, increasing the risk of infection. To maintain your awareness against infection, make sure you don’t drink too much.

3. Don't go out when you feel sick

To prevent spreading infection

SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted from an asymptomatic person (including a person who hasn't yet developed symptoms) to others. However, it's thought that the viral load peaks right around the time of symptom onset, so taking action when symptoms appear will also be vital. Avoid visiting nightlife venues when you feel sick, for the sake of yourself, the employees, and the people around you.
Also, don't feel relieved that you develop a fever and it breaks the next day. Take time off from work and go visit a medical facility.

4. Avoid the 3 C's and follow the requests from the national and local governments on infection prevention measures

Check the everchanging COVID-19 situation

The COVID-19 situation is changing every day, and the national and local governments are requesting people to follow measures based on the situation.
Please consult the website links available on this website for reference.

5. Cooperate with the infection prevention policies of the restaurants/bars

To support the safe operation of businesses

The clubs that participated in our research study were making various efforts to prevent infection. Establishments and their employees are taking various measures to protect you from infection, so that you can have a safe and enjoyable time.
We ask that you practice correct infection prevention measures, in order to help businesses operate safely with peace of mind.

Conclusion

This is a difficult time for all of us, but it's important to put in place measures against the spread of infections by practicing these recommendations, with the goal of lowering the risk of infection as much as possible.