Based on the number of people newly infected with the novel coronavirus and the status of the medical system, the emergency declaration requiring restaurants and bars to close at 8 pm was lifted in Japan in six prefectures (Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu, and Fukuoka) on February 28th, 2021, ahead of the Tokyo metropolitan area where it will be lifted on March 21st.

However, as evening operations resume nationwide, concerns still remain about ensuring the safety of patrons and curbing the spread of the virus. One establishment has implemented a measure they hope will make a difference.

Caffè & Bar Pronto is a well-known Japanese café chain established in 1988. They provide coffee and bread in the morning, pasta and other dishes for lunch, original cakes and pastries along with coffee and tea in the afternoon, and a varied menu of alcoholic beverages and food in the evening.

For the benefit of patrons visiting Pronto during bar time at locations where the state of emergency has been lifted, the chain has launched a campaign whereby they offer patrons free "drinking etiquette" mouth covers.

A little corona etiquette while eating and drinking

These simple masks can be attached to your finger, making them easy to hold. There are a total of six different designs, including plain ones, that can be quickly held over the mouth to prevent microdroplets from spreading during conversations.

© Pronto Corporation Co., Ltd.

An additional benefit of this campaign is that it helps raise awareness of "corona etiquette" during meals and contributes to the creation of an environment where people will feel more comfortable returning to bars and restaurants.

Moreover, as you can see from the photo above, the simple masks are designed to make people laugh, and are sure to stimulate conversation when you meet up with people you haven't seen in a long time.

These masks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be available while supplies last.

If you live in Japan, whether you're visiting Pronto or not, please remember to be considerate towards people in your party as well as other patrons when you return to the dinner and bar scene.

© Pronto Corporation Co., Ltd.

By - Ben K.