The coffee giant is ready to serve their beloved Frappucinos again, with some precautionary measures.

Much to coffee fans’ dismay, Starbucks made the decision to close the majority of its stores across Japan when the state of emergency was declared in April. The news was so dismaying that Starbucks lovers flooded their local stores and had to queue up outside for one last taste of their favorite drink. But coffee lovers, rejoice! The virus seems to be spreading much more slowly lately, so as of May 19 the company has decided to reopen its stores in 13 prefectures–but with some extra precautions.

Before the temporary closures, Starbucks had already taken several measures to help prevent the spread of the disease, such as banning the use of tumblers brought from home, offering drinks in takeout containers only, increasing cleaning measures, and requiring the staff to use the money tray when customers pay with cash. These rules will remain in place as the company adds some extra changes that will hopefully keep the disease at bay. 

To start with, Starbucks cafes in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo Prefectures will be offering takeout only, which means customers will not be allowed to consume their drinks and food in the cafe. These branches will also close early, at 7 p.m. Starbucks cafes in Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Gifu, Aichi, and Fukuoka, which will be offering in-house seating, will also be operating on a shortened schedule, with the exact times differing for each location.

Starbucks is also encouraging customers to use contactless payment options, particularly by using the Starbucks app, which allows you to register your Starbucks card so you don’t have to hand it to the cashier to pay. Some stores will also be offering the option to order and pay online through the app and pickup in store, so that customers will not have to queue at all.

Cafes will also be limiting the number of guests who can enter the cafe at one time, especially during busy hours. Customers are encouraged to not visit Starbucks cafes in groups, and those that do are requested to send one person in to order for everyone. Cafes will also have stickers on the floor so that customers can maintain social distancing while they stand in line.

Of course, they’re also urging customers to follow standard disease-prevention protocol, such as wearing masks, making use of the hand sanitizer supplied in the cafe, and refraining from coming to Starbucks if they feel unwell or have a fever.

▼ The company is also making sure customers know that they can buy their favorite beans online, and has provided instructions on how to make their favorite drinks on Instagram.

Of course, customers can always make use of drive-thru windows if their local cafe has one, and Uber Eats is also available to deliver Starbucks to their door. There are plenty of options to get your favorite drinks in a safe way, and after abstaining for more than a month, Starbucks fans were over the moon to hear the news:

“I’m so happy. I’ve been waiting!!”
“Ah~I am restored~”
“I’m glad that that my happy place is reopening. I’m going today (while following the rules)”
“I sincerely hope everyone working there stays safe and takes care of their health. Good luck!”

Since there were a lot of happy comments on Starbucks’ Twitter and Instagram posts announcing the reopenings, there’s no doubt that the popular coffee shop’s sweet creations and tasty coffees have a special place in many people’s hearts. We can only hope that fans won’t swarm the cafes in their delight. If you want to see if they’re still offering the Butterscotch Frappucino, go with caution! If you see a lot of people queued outside, it may be better to wait and go another day.

Source: Starbucks
Top Image: Instagram/@starbucks_J

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