Campaigners for Japan's nightlife workers say they need realistic guidelines for how to stay safe and remain in business amid the pandemic, which has seen the government zero in on host and hostess bars as virus hot spots.

Bar staff need practical rules on how to interact with customers, said Shinya Iwamuro, a urologist and public health advocate who has been teaching infection control measures in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward and other nightspots.

That means no kissing, no sharing food and conversations at right angles, rather than face-to-face, to avoid droplet contamination.