Report says latest removal of pandemic protocols will bring the noise back, but one precaution is staying in place.

In June of 2020, as Japan entered its first summer of the pandemic, amusement park Fuji-Q Highland put out a video showing two executives riding one of the park’s massive roller coasters. As their car zoomed through steep drops and speedy turns, the two men, both masked, stayed completely silent, and the video ended with a request for guests to “Please scream inside your heart,” i.e. don’t scream out loud, in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The video was funny and quirky, and seen as a hopefully short-lived sign of the times. Instead, the pandemic stretched on and on, and not only amusement parks, but sporting events and concerts began asking attendees to refrain from cheering and shouting as much as possible. This last summer, one of Japan’s most popular professional soccer teams was even fined 20 million yen by the league’s administrators for failing to sufficiently discourage loud cheering by fans at their stadium.

But it looks like the Japanese government is ready to recommend that the period of silent support from fans come to a close. Currently, if sports and concert venues want to allow attendees to “cheer loudly,” they’re supposed to cap attendance at half of the facility’s full capacity. However, news organization Kyodo, citing multiple involved but unnamed parties, says that the government is ready, as early as this week, to announce that it is removing all remaining regulations and recommendations regarding attendance caps and cheering, giving stadiums and concert halls the government’s blessing in filling every seat and letting every voice be heard.

That doesn’t mean that things are going back to exactly how they were before the start of the pandemic, though. The report also says that recommendations for guests to mask up at concerts and sports events will stay in place, perhaps as a precaution against the greater infection risks represented by denser and more forcibly exhaling crowds. It’s also worth bearing in mind that many changes in behavior patterns in Japan during the pandemic haven’t necessarily been because of government mandates, but because of the population’s overall attitudes on masking and other preventive measures, so even if/when the government makes the official announcement, it’ll probably still be considered good manners to see how loudly the rest of the people around you are cheering and more or less match their volume level.

Source: Kyodo via Jin, Kyodo (2)
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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