Survey: over 60% Constantly Keep Masks On

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
People are seen heading to work wearing masks in Tokyo, on March 13.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Over 60% of people in Japan constantly keep face masks on when going out, even after the government relaxed its COVID-19 mask guidance, a private survey has shown.

By prefecture, respondents in Hiroshima spend the longest time of the day with their masks on.

The online survey, conducted by Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare Co. for three days to March 19, received answers from 4,700 people nationwide.

According to the survey, 61.6% of all respondents said they always wear masks even after the March 13 mask guidance change to leave individuals to decide whether to wear masks.

Only 4.3% answered they no longer wear masks at all.

Of those who continue to wear masks, the highest ratio of respondents cited concerns about infection with COVID-19 or a cold as the reason they do so.

Next came those already used to wearing masks and those taking precautions against hay fever or other problems.

Meanwhile, female respondents who hesitate to show their faces without makeup and who find it bothersome to do their makeup both accounted for more than a quarter of all female respondents.

Asked how much of the time respondents keep their masks on while awake, respondents in Hiroshima marked the average of 72%, highest among all 47 prefectures.

Gifu came next at 70.1%, followed by 69.9% in Aichi.

Nara was at the bottom of the list at 56.4%, followed by Fukuoka at 60.1% and Saga at 60.3%.

The survey also found that 20.8% of all respondents had more opportunities to spend time without masks. The share of such respondents was highest in Okinawa Prefecture at 32% and lowest in Hiroshima at 11%.