Tokyo Olympics organisers unveil anti-coronavirus plan of action for athletes

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The organisers of the postponed summer Olympics, to be held in Tokyo, Japan, have issued detailed guidelines explaining the obligations of visiting athletes. The aim is to run the global event as normally as possible, while ensuring the health and security of all involved.

Athletes will have to submit a negative coronavirus test before leaving for Japan, and possibly undergo another medical examination as soon as they arrive.

They will be tested for Covid-19 once every four days during their stay, and their movements around Tokyo will be restricted during the sportsfest which is scheduled to take place between 23 July and 8 August.

The measures are outlined in a playbook compiled by the Tokyo organising committee, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). An update will follow in April.

“The health and safety of everyone at the Olympic and Paralympic Games are our top priority,” said IOC executive director Christophe Dubi.

“We each have our part to play. That’s why these playbooks have been created – with the rules that will make each and every one of us a sound, safe and active contributor to the Games.”

The Olympic Games were initially scheduled for the summer of 2020. But they were postponed as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Nearly a year after the delay, public support for the extravaganza remains low. However the IOC and Japanese organisers say they will press ahead with the event.

Spectators still awaiting official verdict

The playbook makes no specific mention of how fans will be treated. Decisions on that question, including the number of spectators allowed at individual events, and the prospects for overseas visitors, will be made within the next few weeks, Dubi said.

“We know these Olympic Games will be different in a number of ways,” he added. “For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require flexibility and understanding.”

Japan has recorded nearly 6,000 deaths and 395,000 cases of coronavirus since January 2020.