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Tokyo gov't staff patrol restaurants to check COVID-19 quasi-emergency measures

A Tokyo Metropolitan Government official advises the manager, left, on how to arrange seats to keep a good distance from each other at Fishing Restaurant Zauo Shinjuku Branch in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on April 12, 2021. (Mainichi/Shinji Kurokawa)

TOKYO -- A team of Tokyo Metropolitan Government employees began to make the rounds at restaurants in the capital on April 12 to check on the implementation of measures to prevent coronavirus infections.

    About 20 employees visited roughly 140 restaurants in Shinjuku Ward, in conjunction with the quasi-emergency measures that took effect the same day. In the future, the number of staff will be increased to 200 and check all 120,000 restaurants in Tokyo to see if their measures are adequate.

    In order to prevent the spread of infections in restaurants, the patrol team each consisting of two staff members visit the eateries unannounced between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. They check 20 items such as the wearing of masks, the installation of acrylic panels and ventilation equipment, and advise on countermeasures if any are insufficient.

    On the afternoon of April 12, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike instructed the staff to "proceed with a sense of urgency," before they set off on their rounds. At the Fishing Restaurant Zauo Shinjuku Branch near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku Ward, the staff checked the distance between seats and other conditions and entered the results into a tablet terminal. The manager of the restaurant, Takayuki Kato, 41, said, "We were able to reconfirm that our measures, such as thorough disinfection, were correct."

    That same evening, about 30 staff members, including Deputy Gov. Mitsuchika Tarao, stood in front of Shinjuku Station and called on passersby to refrain from going out unnecessarily.

    (Japanese original by Shinji Kurokawa, Tokyo City News Department)

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