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Japan delivery firms taking steps to avoid direct contact with customers amid pandemic

A delivery worker confirms a customer's receipt of pizza placed on a box while keeping 2 meters away, in Tokyo's Taito Ward on April 10, 2020. (Mainichi/Tatsuro Tamaki)

TOKYO -- Delivery companies in Japan have been taking measures to avoid direct contact between customers and delivery workers to prevent novel coronavirus infections.

On March 6, Domino's Pizza Japan, Inc. introduced an optional service at about 640 of its outlets across the country to avoid direct contact between customers and delivery workers. When a customer selects this service when ordering online, the delivery worker, wearing a mask and plastic gloves, sets a box at the entrance of the customers' home and places the order on it before calling them. The worker then waits to confirm that the customer has received the food while standing at least 2 meters away. The pizza chain recommends that customers pay online in advance to avoid handling cash on the spot.

A resident of Tokyo's Itabashi Ward in his 20s who used the optional service commented, "I'll be relieved if the risk of the infections can be reduced even a little. I don't need to worry about the food being stolen as the delivery worker visually confirms the customer's receipt of the order."

Meanwhile, Japan Post Co. has started a special measure in which the delivery worker puts Yu-Pack parcels and ordinary registered mail into mailboxes or in front of the entrance after confirming what to do over the intercom at the customer's home.

(Japanese original by Tatsuro Tamaki, Photo Group)

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