Yesterday (26th) was the first weekend after the third lifting of the state of emergency declaration since Tokyo was affected by Wuhan pneumonia (novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19), and people were out shopping and enjoying leisure activities. However, the number of infections continues to increase and the outbreak is likely to rebound again.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced on the 27th that 386 new people were diagnosed in Tokyo, compared to 376 on the 20th of last week. However, until yesterday, the number of confirmed cases increased by more than 100 people for four consecutive days compared to last week.
As a precautionary measure, alcohol is served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and fellow restaurants selling alcohol are limited to two people entering and staying for 90 minutes. However, there are still restaurants in the downtown area that do not follow the norms and have full seats.
Takeshi Miyamori, owner of a Kabukicho Izakaya in Shinjuku, which has been back in business since the 21st, said glumly, “There are more customers coming in groups of three or four, and today I’ve already turned away 30 people. If there are only 2 people, the turnover will not go up.”
The intersection in front of Shibuya station was crowded with people after 8 p.m. A man in his 20s who was drinking on the side of the road said, “The store is full, so it’s impossible for the epidemic to die down.
At the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Ginza, the lion statue outside the department store was also wearing a mask, but it was bustling with customers. A woman interviewed said happily, “I came to lunch with three of my friends, and although I can’t drink due to Tokyo city regulations, I’m glad to see that I’m starting to regain my energy.”
Akihito Hirao, the owner of a specialty store in Asakusa, said, “Business is still very tough because of graduation trips and local groups not coming,” and sighed, “Even if there are spectators at the Tokyo Olympics, there is no way to stop by for sightseeing, and it is difficult to return to the past glory.”
The Ueno Zoo, where pandas give birth to twins, is also very popular, and the park takes a pre-booking system. A 34-year-old mother in Chiba Prefecture finally took her 3-year-old daughter out for a visit after about a year and a half, saying, “I was hesitant, but it’s sad that my child has been confined to the vicinity of my home,” adding, “I hope that when the baby panda can meet the visitors, we can play without any worries “.