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

10 Recommendations for Nightlife Business Such as Host Clubs and Their Employees

Introduction

The clubs that cooperated in the research 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 points that your clubs has and hasn't already 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, but if a large cluster forms at your establishment, you could suffer an even bigger loss that goes beyond actual damage, such as reputational damage. Younger people are thought to be asymptomatic or only experience mild symptoms, but some develop critical illness. Substantial proportion of individuals who were asymptomatic or had mild diseases are known to suffer from long-lasting symptoms. We can hardly say this infectious disease is a simple cold. 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 this research, this website lists 10 recommendations. Please use this as a guide to check how well you are practicing the infection prevention measures and what you should be careful about 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 only several percent of customers from every establishment wore masks.

It may be difficult to ask customers to wear a mask, but having everyone wear one is crucial to preventing the spread of this infectious disease.
We also ask customers to wear masks through this site.
We understand that people are getting tired of the pandemic, and that there are some establishments where neither employees nor customers wear masks. However, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the 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 masks with or without symptoms lowers the risk of infection. In particular, not wearing a mask at nightlife businesses where people enjoy conversations in close proximity will make it more likely for people to get infected.

Proven by Data

Research and study reports from several countries recommend universal masking (having everyone wear masks). For example, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made a comprehensive assessment based on a variety of evidence (e.g., outbreak investigation, observational epidemiological studies, and laboratory simulation experiments). It's reported that having everyone wear a mask can help control spread of infection in communities, and lower 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 infections, so please wear a mask.

Recommend using personal straws

We heard from some people that using a personal straw to drink helped them reduce the time and trouble of taking off their masks.
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 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 fans, 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 of infection prevention

Some employees told us they'd get really drunk at the end of business hours and during afterhours dates.

Even people who are able to practice measures against infection when they're sober would slack off on wearing a mask and other preventive measures when drunk, increasing the risk of infection.
Make sure you drink modestly, to maintain your awareness of infection prevention.

4. Sanitize your hands correctly

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

Check the list of ingredients of sanitizers

We found some clubs were using hand sanitizers improperly.

In principle, it's recommended that we sanitize hands with the following hand sanitizers:
・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 advertisement, and make sure you check the list of ingredients.

Sanitize when it's more likely to get infected

We found some employees who were not sanitizing their hands at appropriate times.

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 and things that go into our mouths with our hands, so make sure you sanitize your hands before and after touching something that many people touch, and when leaving or taking a seat at the table.

5. Clean and disinfect the area correctly

Disinfect correctly and properly in addition to normal cleaning

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 chemicals 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 is considered to be difficult to properly use at clubs, etc.* Spraying disinfectants like hypochlorous acid solution in the air isn't proven to be effective, either. It's also reported that inhaling the sprayed chemical could be harmful to the human body. Therefore, we think at this time that using it should be avoided.

* It's said that the hypochlorous acid solution must be "properly stored," used "in the appropriate concentration" (check every time you use it) "on clean surfaces" "until they're soaking the object," and "wiped off after waiting 20 seconds or more." Among the clubs we visited, there was none that was using the chemical properly.

6. Monitor your health every day

Major symptoms

Use the following checklist as a guide.

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 symptom onset, so taking action when symptoms appear will also be vital.
While many clubs were taking temperatures, few of them were keeping 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 (i.e., sore throat, coughing, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell), and keep a daily record at your business.
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. If you are identified as a close contact or have symptoms, not only PCR tests but also health monitoring for a specified period

If you're a close contact, take time off from work regardless of your PCR test results

If you're suspected of infection, taking a PCR test will tell you if you're infected or not at that 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 health center, take time off from work for 14 days after your final contact.

8. Learn the pros and cons of antibody tests

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

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

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

A positive result of an antibody test 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 an 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 (getting better after the first infection, and getting infected again).

9. Lower the risk of infection outside of the clubs

Infection risks in dormitories and other group living settings

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

Infection risks after business hours

During afterhours (after business hours), you'd 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 necessary to consider the risks of getting infected in these situations.

In order to protect your businesses, practice infection prevention measures even when outside the work setting

People tend to be negligent about infection prevention outside of their work, but being mindful with measures against infection in your daily life and when visiting other businesses as a customer will be essential to continue your business safely.

10. Protect the vulnerable

Anyone can have severe COVID-19

It's said that young adults and people without underlying health conditions are unlikely to have severe COVID-19. However, although rarely, 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 people or people with underlying health conditions around you, you might think you don't have to care 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 community. Therefore, it is important to consider these possibilities.

Don't get infected, don't spread infections, and protect people 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 to these, 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 implement measures against the spread of infections by implementing these recommendations, with the aim of lowering the risk of infection as much as possible.

5 Recommendations for Customers of Nightlife Businesses 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 cooperating clubs were wearing masks whenever possible. However, unfortunately, fewer proportions of customers from every establishment wore masks.

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 nightlife businesses where neither employees nor customers wear 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 masks with or without symptoms lowers the risk of infection. In particular, not wearing a mask at nightlife businesses where people enjoy conversations in close proximity will make it more likely for people to get infected.

Proven by Data

Research and study reports from several countries recommend universal masking (having everyone wear masks).
For example, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made a comprehensive assessment based on a variety of evidence (e.g., outbreak investigation, observational epidemiological studies, and laboratory simulation experiments). It's reported that having everyone wear a mask can help control spread of infection in communities, and lower 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 infections, so please wear a mask.

Recommend using personal straws

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

2. Don't get too drunk

To maintain your awareness of infection prevention

Some customers would get really drunk at the end of business hours and during afterhours dates.

Even people who are able to practice measures against infection when they're sober would slack off on wearing a mask and other preventive measures when drunk, increasing the risk of infection. Make sure you drink modestly, to maintain your awareness of infection prevention.

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 symptom onset, so taking action when symptoms appear will also be vital. Avoid visiting nightlife businesses when you feel sick, for the sake of yourself, the employees, and 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 infection prevention measures of nightlife businesses

To support safe operation of nightlife businesses

The clubs who contributed to our research study were actively engaging in infection prevention measures, so that you can have a great time safely.
We ask you to take your part in engaging in infection prevention measures.

5. Make sure to sanitize your hands even when you are inside the premise

Thoroughly wash and disinfect your hands

We found that participating clubs’ awareness for sanitizing hands (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 and things that go into our mouths with our hands, so make sure you sanitize your hands before and after touching something that many people touch, and when leaving or taking a seat at the table.

Conclusion

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