Fewer infections lead Japan to study relaxing cinema eating rule
Kyodo -- Sep 29
Japan will consider easing a rule on eating at movie theaters, economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said Monday, in an additional relaxation amid a recent decline in the number of novel coronavirus infections.

While movie theaters in Japan have been allowed to sell all their seats since Sept. 19, eating is only allowed if audiences are limited to 50 percent of auditorium capacity to prevent infection.

Movie theater operators had asked the government to ease the restriction, Nishimura, who is in charge of responding to the pandemic, told a press conference.

While the government has determined that it is safe to consume beverages in movie theaters, Nishimura said people need to take off face masks for longer periods to eat.

He added the government will make a decision based on scientific data to determine whether it is safe to relax the rule.

The move comes as Tokyo confirmed 78 new infections, down from 144 on Sunday and 270 on Saturday. The capital is the hardest-hit area among the country's 47 prefectures and reported 59 cases -- its lowest daily figure in about three months -- last Wednesday.

「映画を見ながらポップコーン」の規制の緩和を検討します。  西村経済再生担当大臣:「映画業界から規制緩和の要望があり、食べている場合でももう少し緩和できるんじゃないかと」  映画館の人数制限を巡っては、19日から基本的には満席までのチケット販売が認められていますが、ポップコーンなど食事の提供が伴う場合はマスクを外すことなどから収容人数の50%の規制が維持されています。西村大臣は緩和の検討に向け、人工知能によるシミュレーションなどを進めたいと話しました。また、多くの人出が予想される初詣についてもどのような対策を行うか検討したいとしています。
News sources: Kyodo, ANNnewsCH
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