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Starbucks reopens 850 store in Japan as measures against Coronavirus are eased

Starbucks Japan reopens
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Tokyo

MILAN – Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd. said Tuesday it will restart operations at some 850 outlets in Japan as the number of new coronavirus infections has fallen in recent weeks. The coffee shop giant had temporarily shut stores in 13 of the country’s 47 prefectures, due to the virus pandemic and a state of emergency declared by the government.

In the eight prefectures still subject to the state of emergency, including Tokyo, only takeout services, including drive-thru, will be available for the time being.

In the other 39 prefectures in Japan, where the state of emergency was lifted last Thursday, customers will be allowed to eat and drink at Starbucks stores while following social-distancing rules.

Eat-in services are provided with precautionary measures such as keeping empty seats between guests and using paper cups and plastic cutlery, instead of mugs and stainless steel cutlery to minimize infection risks.

The company said it would also ask customers to sanitize their hands on entry and prompt them to maintain social distance with markers on the ground.