On the eve of the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony, the government’s efforts to curb a coronavirus surge by targeting drinkers as key spreaders of the disease, have failed to deter many from enjoying the nightlife.
The latest state of emergency has asked restaurants and bars to close by 8 pm, if not entirely. This has pushed people to drink outside, although many bars remain open and bustling with customers who are defying the rules and expressing frustration and indifference.
Mio Maruyama, a 28-year-old resident of Tokyo who was chatting with her colleagues on the street in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district on Monday, told AP that no one will be convinced with Japanese government’s to prohibit restaurants to serve alcohol while they are determined to host the Games.
Exempted from the emergency state mandate, 24/7-open convenience stores were busy with shoppers. Near one of the shops, some drinkers were talking with city workers wearing green Tokyo Metropolitan Government vests.
They were patrolling to ask, not force, people to refrain from drinking and chatting outside to try to keep the virus at bay.
The opening ceremony for the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics will be held at the National Stadium on July 23.