As Japan’s restaurants and bars slowly open up from a COVID-19 lockdown, many are looking to reassure the public that dining out is safe again and one izakaya thinks that it has found the perfect solution.
The pub in Tokyo’s normally bustling Shinjuku district has installed a machine that sprays customers with hypochlorous acid water as they enter.
Of course, customers are first greeted on a monitor by a hostess, who instructs them to disinfect their hands and check their temperature with a provided thermometer.
They then step into a machine that looks like an airport security scanner, or an automatic car wash for humans, to get sprayed with a fine mist of the chlorine-based disinfectant for 30 seconds.
Customers then pick up a map that guides them to their seat, where they order with smartphones.
Throughout the process they do not come into contact with a single person.
“We wanted to develop a system that is in accordance with the new lifestyle and something that is a high model that could prevent infection,” the president of the Kichiri & Co group that owns the pub said. “It’s still an experiment, but once we develop the system, we want to share the know-how at each of our restaurants.”
A clear acrylic screen is set up between each diner to further minimize the risk of infection, and it seems to work.
“I feel safe,” said one female customer, who did not want to be identified. “But being in there for 30 seconds was a bit long. I was like: ‘When will this be over?’”
Kichiri has also installed a spraying booth, which cost more than ￥700,000 (US$6,492), at a pub in Osaka, where the government yesterday lifted a state of emergency.
A state of emergency remains in place in Tokyo.
Australian scientists have raised questions over the efficacy of the AstraZeneca and University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in establishing herd immunity, calling for a pause on its widespread rollout as the country recorded one new case of the virus yesterday. Opposition to the vaccine casts a cloud over Australia’s immunization plans, with 53 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab already on hand. “The question is really whether it is able to provide herd immunity. We are playing a long game here. We don’t know how long that will take,” Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology president Stephen Turner said. Turner added
A racing pigeon has survived an extraordinary 13,000km Pacific Ocean crossing from the US to find a new home in Australia. Now authorities consider the bird a quarantine risk and plan to kill it. Kevin Celli-Bird yesterday said he discovered that the exhausted bird that arrived in his Melbourne backyard on Dec. 26 last year had disappeared from a race in the US state of Oregon on Oct. 29. Experts suspect the pigeon that Celli-Bird has named Joe — after US president-elect Joe Biden — hitched a ride on a cargo ship to cross the Pacific. Joe’s feat has attracted the attention
A persistent blizzard on Saturday blanketed large parts of Spain with an unusual amount of snow, killing at least four people and leaving thousands trapped in vehicles or at train stations and airports that suspended all services. The national weather agency reported that as of 7am, the snowfall in Madrid reached a level unseen in a half-century. More than 50cm of snow fell in the Spanish capital, the weather agency AEMET said. The bodies of a man and woman were recovered by the Andalucia region emergency service after their car was washed away by a flooded river near the town of Fuengirola.
China has recorded the biggest daily jump in COVID-19 cases in more than five months, despite four cities in lockdown, increased testing and other measures aimed at preventing another wave of infections in the world’s second-biggest economy. Most of the new infections were reported near the capital, Beijing, but a province in northeast China also saw a rise in new cases, official data showed yesterday, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people under home quarantine. The Chinese National Health Commission said in a statement that a total of 115 new confirmed cases were reported in the country, compared