'Fish bowl' like screens now hang from the ceiling of The Jazz Lounge En Counter in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district to protect against coronavirus transmission, aiming to lure back clients who are still worried about contracting the virus.

The Jazz Lounge En Counter bar reopened in late June, having shut down for several weeks after the government declared a nationwide state of emergency in April.

Fishbowl Tokyo
Screen Capture / Youtube

But with revenues down 70% to 80% compared with pre-pandemic levels, the bar decided to step up efforts to ensure customers feel safer. "If we don't take firm steps we wouldn't be responding to customers' requests. And they wouldn't visit us because they're worried," said manager Katsutoshi Iwazaki.

Straight Out Of The Future

The conical, clear acrylic screens - which were demonstrated to Reuters by bar staff on a recent visit - hang from the ceiling and envelop the customers' head and shoulders, acting as a barrier between them and other drinkers, as well as servers. Employees said they, too, felt more protected.

"I can't talk to them (customers) safely if there's a risk of droplet infection. But I feel very safe now with this measure," said 27-year-old staff member Mako Aoki.

(with inputs from agencies)