For Safe Business Operations : Recommendations
Nighttime Entertainment Establishments
Such as Host Clubs and Their Customers

10 Recommendations for Nighttime Entertainment Establishments Such as Host Clubs and Their Employees

Introduction

The clubs that participated in this research study and cooperated with us have made various efforts to prevent infections.
We hope that this will help you think about what you can do to reduce the risk of infection, including actions that your club is already taking and those yet to be implemented.

Some interviewees have told us that they didn't see the point of implementing measures to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Sales might increase in the short term by continuing business as usual, but if a large cluster forms at your establishment, you could suffer an even bigger loss that goes beyond the actual damage, such as reputational image. It is believed that younger people are more likely to be asymptomatic, or only experience mild symptoms, but some do develop severe illness. A sizable proportion of individuals who were asymptomatic or had only mild disease are known to suffer from long-lasting symptoms. We can hardly say that this infectious disease is a simple cold. We should take the right steps to create an environment where both your employees and customers can have a good time with peace of mind.

 

Based on the knowledge gained from our research, this website lists 10 recommendations. 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. Have Everyone Wear a Mask

To lower the risk of infection

Many of the employees at the participating clubs were wearing masks whenever possible. However, unfortunately, among all the establishments, only a small proportion of the customers were wearing a mask.

It may be difficult to ask customers to wear a mask, but having everyone wear one is crucial in preventing the spread of this infectious disease.
We are also asking customers to wear masks.
We understand that people are getting tired of the pandemic, and that there are some establishments where neither the employees nor the customers are wearing masks. However, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is a highly infectious virus which can invade into your establishment at any time. We can't let our guard down.

It's been reported that having everyone wear a mask—with or without symptoms—lowers the risk of infection. In particular, not wearing a mask at nighttime venues where people enjoy conversations in close proximity will make it more likely for people to get infected.

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

While wearing a mask might make your face or facial expressions difficult to see, we have also heard that it can make you look more handsome or beautiful.

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.

Recommendation to use a personal straw

We heard from some people that using a personal straw for drinking helped them reduce the time and trouble of taking off their mask.
It can also prevent your lipstick from coming off.

2. Ventilate the premise

Create a path for the air to circulate

It might be difficult to keep the windows or doors open due to the Act on Control and Improvement of Amusement Business, Etc., 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. Don't get too drunk

To maintain your awareness for preventing infection

Some employees told us they'd get really drunk by the end of business hours and during outings afterwards.

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

4. Sanitize your hands correctly

We found that people's awareness for hand sanitation (washing hands and using rubbing alcohol and other hand sanitizers) was very high, but there are two things that we'd like you to note.

Check the list of ingredients in the sanitizer

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.)
・Benzalkonium-based sanitizers (0.05% or higher)
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.

5. Clean and disinfect the area correctly

In addition to routine cleaning, perform correct and proper disinfection

Since we may get infected with SARS-CoV-2 through the environment, it's important to keep it as clean as possible.
Normal cleaning can sufficiently remove the virus, but disinfecting the environment will further ensure safety. However, you need to be careful when doing so, as we found that some establishments were using disinfectants improperly.

Disinfectants that have been proven to be effective

For disinfecting the environment, the following disinfectants have been proven effective:
・Alcohol-based disinfectants
・Sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach)
・Detergents (dish soaps, laundry detergents, etc.)
Using these products in appropriate concentrations is important.

Hypochlorous acid solution is difficult to use properly

We found that many establishments used hypochlorous acid solution to disinfect things, but due to its properties, the chemical may be difficult to properly use at clubs, etc.*
Spraying disinfectants like hypochlorous acid solution into the air isn't proven to be effective, either. It's also been reported that inhaling the sprayed chemical could have potentially harmful effects to the human body.
Therefore, our position at this time is to avoid its use.

* Hypochlorous acid solution should be "properly stored," used "in the appropriate concentration" (check every time you use it) "on clean surfaces" "until the object is completely soaked," and "wiped off after waiting 20 seconds or more." Among the clubs we visited, none were using the product properly.

6. Monitor your health every day

Key symptoms

Refer to the following checklist.

Download the checklist

Taking action 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 clubs 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.

7. Don’t feel reassured with a PCR test and continue to check your health

If you've been identified as a close contact, take time off from work regardless of your PCR test result

If you've been suspected of infection, taking a PCR test will tell you if you're infected or not at that particular time. However, you can't feel relieved with a negative test result.

It's said that the time from contact with an infected person to the development of symptoms (incubation period) is between 2 to 14 days, and it's possible that you have yet to develop symptoms but may do so at a later time.

If you've been determined as a close contact by the local public health center, take time off from work for 14 days after the time of your last contact.

8. Learn the pros and cons of antibody tests

An antibody test doesn't determine if you're currently infected or not

We heard that some clubs were using commercially available antibody tests.
First, note that the antibody test, unlike the PCR test, is a way to determine whether or not you've been infected in the past, not if you're currently infected or not.
In addition, the performance of commercially available antibody test kits varies, and even if the test result is positive, you wouldn't know if you've truly been infected. Likewise, even if it comes out negative, you wouldn't know if you've truly never been infected.

Having antibodies doesn't mean you're immune to future infections

A positive antibody test result only means that it's highly likely that you've been infected in the past—nothing more, nothing less. It's currently considered that having antibodies does not necessarily mean that you have immunity against infection (or you will not be infected in the future).

Possibility of reinfection

Although the frequency has yet to be studied in detail, there has been reports of reinfection of SARS-CoV-2 (recovering after the first infection but getting infected again later).

9. Lower the risk of infection outside of the club

Infection risks in dormitories and other group living settings

The establishments we visited had many employees living in a group living setting such as dormitories.
Some establishments had infection cases mainly among employees living in dormitories, and the spread of infection was suspected outside of the workplace, such as in group living settings.

Infection risks after business hours

During afterhours (after business hours), you may be more drunk than during business hours, and infection prevention measures might not be sufficient at the bars, etc. that you visit as a customer. It is important to consider the risks of getting infected in these situations.

In order to protect your business, practice infection prevention measures even when outside the workplace

People tend to be negligent about infection prevention outside of their workplace. However, being mindful of measures against infection in your daily life and when visiting other venues as a customer will be essential to the safe operation of your business.

10. Protect the vulnerable

Anyone can have severe COVID-19

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 the 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.

5 Recommendations for Customers of Nighttime Entertainment Establishments Such as Host Clubs

Introduction

The clubs that cooperated in the research were practicing infection prevention in various ways. Along with their employees, they are implementing various infection prevention measures so that customers can have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Based on the knowledge etc. gained from this research, this website lists 5 Recommendations to Observe when visiting nightlife establishments such as host clubs. Please use this list as a guide to check how well you are practicing infection prevention and things to be careful of in the future.

1. Wear a mask

To lower the risk of infection

Many of the employees at the participating clubs were wearing masks whenever possible. However, unfortunately, among all the establishments, only a small proportion of the customers were wearing a mask.

It's difficult for employees to ask you to wear a mask. So, we ask you to take the initiative to wear a mask to protect yourself and the employees. Having everyone wear a mask is crucial to preventing the spread of infections. We understand that people are getting tired of infection prevention, and that there are some establishments where neither the employees nor the customers are wearing masks. However, SARS-CoV-2 is a highly infectious virus which can invade into your establishment at any time. We can't let our guard down.

It's been reported that having everyone wear a mask—with or without symptoms—lowers the risk of infection. In particular, not wearing a mask at nighttime venues where people enjoy conversations in close proximity will make it more likely for people to get infected.

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

While wearing a mask might make your face or facial expressions difficult to see, we have also heard that it can make you look more handsome or beautiful.

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.

Recommendation to use a personal straw

We heard from some people that using a personal straw for drinking helped them reduce the time and trouble of taking off their mask.
It can also prevent your lipstick from coming off.

2. Don't get too drunk

To maintain your awareness for preventing infection

Some customers would reportedly get really drunk by the end of business hours and during outings afterwards.

When drunk, even people who are able to practice measures against infection when they're sober can let their guard down on preventive measures, including the wearing of a mask, 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 the spread of 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. Go visit a medical facility.

4. Cooperate with the infection prevention policies of the establishment

To support the safe operation of nightlife businesses

The clubs that participated in our research study were actively engaging in infection prevention measures, so that you can have a safe and enjoyable time.
We ask you to do your part in infection prevention.

5. Make sure to sanitize your hands even when you are enjoying yourself at the establishment

Thoroughly wash and disinfect your hands

We found that the participating clubs’ awareness for hand sanitation (washing hands and using rubbing alcohol and other hand sanitizers) was very high.

Many of them keep hand sanitizers within reach of their customers. If there is no hand sanitizer, ask one of the employees.
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.

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.