Bars And Restaurants Resort To Extreme Safety Measures

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

As bars and restaurants begin to gradually reopen, they're tasked with devising novel approaches to customer safety. In Tokyo, patrons of the Kichiri Shinjuku pub are sprayed with a fine mist of disinfectant before they are allowed to enter, and almost the entire dining experience is touchless. Upon arrival, a hostess on a monitor instructs visitors to wash their hands and take their temperature with a thermometer. If that isn’t enough to make you feel right at home, clients next walk into what looks like an airport security scanner, where they are sprayed with an appetizing mist of chlorine-based disinfectant for 30 seconds. 

"We want customers to feel safe when they come inside," spokeswoman Rieko Matsunaga told CNN. "This is geared to promote social distancing and prevent infections." 

Sounds like the net effect would be terrifying rather than engendering safety.

Customers then pick up a map that shows them where to sit, and scan a QR code to bring up a menu on their phone, from which they can place their order. Diners sit separated by clear acrylic screens. 

By now they likely feel they’ve stepped into Dr. Evil’s lab rather than a restaurant.

The Tokyo restaurant's draconian measure to spray diners with hypochlorous acid water goes against World Health Organization guidelines.

"Spraying disinfectants can result in risks to the eyes, respiratory or skin irritation and the resulting health effects," the WHO said in an advisory.

"Spraying or fogging of certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde, chlorine-based agents or quaternary ammonium compounds, is not recommended due to adverse health effects on workers in facilities where these methods have been utilized."

WHO also cited studies showing that spraying disinfectant over a wide area is ineffective in killing coronavirus.

But if disinfecting mists aren't the way to go, perhaps Fish Tales Bar & Grill in Maryland, U.S. has the solution to safe dining post-COVID.

Diners at Fish Tales Bar & Grill don “bumper tables” to ensure social distancing.

The restaurant bought new "bumper tables" that are surrounded by large inner tubes to keep diners from getting too close. The giant wheels ensure that people can mingle safely - albeit at a distance.

Fish Tales Bar & Grill owners Shawn and Donna Harman told CNN that they'll use the tables for customers who are waiting for tables or would normally sit at the bar.

"I mean, it's a novelty, it's cool. It's a great photo opportunity for them," Shawn said.

"If you put the two tables together, you can't get within 6 feet of each other -- and it's fun," Donna added.

Everyone having fun now?

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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