I’m working part-time at a supermarket. We usually have many customers crowding around the cooked food section during lunch and dinner time.

Now with the COVID-19 situation, crowding is strongly discouraged. My supervisor wants me to make an announcement in Japanese to advise customers to maintain safe social distancing. All my other colleagues were busy, and I couldn’t really ask them.

How do I say “Please maintain social distancing” in Japanese?


Answer by Professional Japanese Teacher
1. ソーシャルディスタンスをお願(ねが)いいたします。
Soosharudisutansu o onegaiitashimasu
Please maintain social distancing
2. ソーシャルディスタンスを保(たも)ちましょう。
Soosharudisutansu o tamochimashoo
Let’s maintain social distancing

Social distancing can create many social dilemmas. Asking strangers, even if they are customers, to keep a safe distance away from one another may not be easy and people may even get offended.

Hence, the second expression uses a soft tone (~mashoo: Let’s) to encourage everybody to do their part for social distancing instead of directly requesting people to do something that you want.