Japanese companies review mask guidelines

Japan's government is set to ease its mask-wearing guidelines on March 13th. And many companies are getting ready to follow suit by relaxing their own measures.

Major department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings says shoppers will be allowed to choose whether to wear masks starting next Monday. But it says a requirement will still be in place for employees.

Other department store operators such as Takashimaya, Daimaru Matsuzakaya, and Sogo & Seibu plan to take similar measures.

Convenience store chains Seven-Eleven Japan, FamilyMart, and Lawson will also leave the decision to customers.
They say they will not require staff members to wear masks either, though store owners could recommend it.

The railroad industry is gearing up for the change.
East Japan Railway says it will leave the decision to passengers, but may ask them to refrain from speaking loudly inside trains.

Central Japan Railway and West Japan Railway will also drop mask requirements.

And various restaurant chains are also reviewing their measures in view of the new government guidelines.