Amid Olympics, Tokyo restaurant owners struggle with COVID-19 restrictions

News

 

TOKYO — For the first time since January, the rolling seven-day average of positive COVID-19 cases is over 1,500. While Tokyo continues to be in its fourth state of emergency some restaurant owners feel they are the ones left taking the hit as other businesses return to normal.
 
As much of the world sees joy and jubilation as athletes reach their sport’s pinnacle, restaurant owners in Japan feel different.

“Absolute disaster,” said Mark Spencer, the owner of three Tokyo restaurants, including the Hobgoblin British Pub.

“The coffee shops are open. Department stores are open. Disneyland is open. All these kind of places are open and they only seem to focus on bars and restaurants,” said Spencer, “I think it’s a bit unfair.”

Get the latest on how our Texans are doing in the Olympics by signing up for push alerts on the KXAN News App and our More Than The Score newsletter. Join us at noon every weekday for our Japan 2020 stream highlighting memorable moments and KXAN’s team in Tokyo.

While the International Olympic committee could rake in an estimated $4 billion in revenue from the Olympics, Tokyo’s fourth state of emergency leaves Mark’s businesses unable to serve alcohol and forced to close by 8:00 p.m.

Spencer said, “When you are primarily 60% of your sales is alcohol it’s obviously a huge impact.”
 
Spencer also said restrictions of no fans during the Olympics have left residents confused and seem contradictory.

“The opening night of the Olympics there was a baseball stadium literally 500 meters away from the Olympic Stadium and that had a crowd in there,” said Spencer.

Despite the setbacks, Spencer said with 20 percent of Japanese adults fully vaccinated science is creating a positive reaction.

“I can see hope now most of my friends have all been vaccinated most of my customers have been vaccinated, three months ago that wasn’t the case.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Stories

More Top Stories

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

Trending Stories

Don't Miss