According to the daily The Japan Times, a survey published on Monday found that one in four people will continue to wear face masks, despite the relaxation of Covid rules.
Even though, in a last-ditch effort by the government to normalize social and economic activities that have been subject to public health restrictions, the decision about mask-wearing is left to individuals, the survey indicates that a drastic change in habits not going to happen anytime soon.
Now, wearing a mask is not a legal requirement in Japan, but it has become common practice among locals.
More than 66% of those surveyed said they would decide to remove their mask depending on the situation, such as during meals or if there are other people nearby. Only 5.5% said they would not wear one, regardless of the social context in which they found themselves.
And on the tourism side?
Following the government’s new coronavirus guidelines, most retailers and restaurants will leave it to customers to decide whether or not to wear face masks in their stores. However, their employees will continue to wear them to provide comfort to visitors.
Managers of food chains like Seven-Eleven Japan, Lawson and FamilyMart, as well as supermarkets and department stores have said they will recommend staff wear masks, while no longer asking customers to do so. .
Rail company East Japan Railway said it will discontinue announcements on trains asking customers to use face masks, but station workers will continue to wear them. The Nihon Bus Association will take a similar approach.
The operator of the popular Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka had previously asked visitors to wear masks at all times except when they are at a sufficient physical distance outdoors or when taking photos, but it will no longer require customers to do so and instead extend the requirement only to employees.
Oriental Land, which operates Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, said it would also relax its guidelines and no longer require visitors or its staff to wear face masks.