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SARS-CoV-2 Suppression and Early Closure of Bars and Restaurants : A Longitudinal Natural Experiment

By Reo Takaku, Izumi Yokoyama, Takahiro Tabuchi, Takeo Fujiwara

Posted 08 Aug 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.08.07.21261741

Despite severe economic damage, full-service restaurants and bars have been closed in hopes of suppressing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. This study explores whether the early closure of restaurants and bars in February 2021 reduced symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 in Japan. Using a large-scale nationally representative longitudinal survey, we found that the early closure of restaurants and bars decreased the utilization rate among young persons (OR 0.688; CI95 0.515?0.918) and those who visited these places before the pandemic (OR 0.754; CI95 0.594?0.957). However, symptoms such of SARS-CoV-2 did not decrease in these active and high-risk subpopulations. Among the more inactive and low-risk subpopulations, such as elderly persons, no discernible impacts are observed in both the utilization of restaurants and bars and the symptoms of SARS-CoV-2. These results suggest that the early closure of restaurants and bars without any other concurrent measures does not contribute to the suppression of SARS-CoV-2.

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