Japan issues new social behaviour guidelines inviting wrath of its people

WION Web Team
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan Published: May 06, 2020, 02:58 PM(IST)

Japan Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

One new recommendation made on Monday for people eating in restaurants is to sit outside, side-by-side while keeping conversation to a minimum.

The Japanese government has been facing backlash from its people after it promoted a set of “new social behaviour” guidelines on Monday, as a state of emergency implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus was extended until May 31.

Speaking at a news conference, an expert panel said the rate of new cases was on the decline in Japan -- but emergency measures would remain in place and the new guidelines should become the norm, as an uptick in infections would overwhelm hospitals. 

The new normal stressed the need to permanently adopt measures such as wearing face masks outside, keeping 2 meters (6.5 ft) between people, teleworking as much as possible, avoiding crowded spaces and washing hands regularly with soap in the long-term fight against the virus.

One new recommendation made on Monday for people eating in restaurants is to sit outside, side-by-side while keeping conversation to a minimum.

This set of advice left many people shocked. They took to the social media to comment that the new guidelines were obvious and that it was patronising to try to enforce them.

"I’m dumbfounded ... There are no other experts urging this kind of advice in the world -- just experts in Japan," said one Twitter user.

A section of Twitterverse seemed to concur with the guidelines. 

"Wearing masks or eating alone isn’t expensive and it doesn’t infringe on human rights either,” the Twitter user said.

The Japanese government has said it would reevaluate the need to maintain the state of emergency on a weekly basis.

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