Friday, December 2, 2022

‘No cheering’: Tokyo outlines rules for Olympics to continue

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Constant testing for Covid-19, 14 days of restricted movement and a ban on cheering on athletes await participants in the Tokyo Olympics as organizers have prepared a ‘playbook’ to allow the Games to unfold.

According to the document sent to international sports federations on Wednesday, offenders risk being kicked out of the Games, and the rules will apply even to those who are vaccinated against the virus.

The guidelines suggest disputes over Covid testing and hygiene violations could become a big feature of Tokyo 2020 and show the extreme measures organizers are taking to avoid. cancellation of games.

With such harsh measures on participants, it is increasingly unlikely that international fans will be able to attend the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed from 2020 until this summer. A decision regarding spectators is expected in the coming months.

“We know that these Olympic Games will be different in many ways,” said Christophe Dubi, Executive Director of the International Olympic Committee. “For all participants in the Games, certain conditions and constraints will require flexibility and understanding.”

The first Tokyo 2020 “playbook” is intended for international sports federations and technical officials. Organizers have promised further guides for broadcasters, athletes, team officials and the media. It is not clear whether they will be subject to different rules.

The constraints will begin two weeks before an official’s trip to the Games, when they need to download a smartphone app and start sending daily temperature reports.

Participants will be required to submit a business plan for their first two weeks in Japan, limited to Olympic venues and accommodation, and provide a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before flying to the country.

Upon arrival, participants can expect another Covid-19 test at the airport, followed by a quick transfer to their accommodation, without using public transport.

During the Games, there will be further testing for the virus, as well as requirements to stay two meters from athletes, one meter from others and wear a face mask at all times.

There are strict rules to support athletes. “Support the athletes by cheering, not singing or singing,” the guidelines order. “Avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact such as hugs, high-fives, and handshakes.”

Tokyo 2020 organizers have said they are planning the Games on the basis that participants have not been vaccinated but, according to the manual, a number of national Olympic committees intend to vaccinate their athletes.

The rules state: “You will not be required to have received a vaccine to participate in the Games – and all of the rules described in this manual will apply whether or not you have received the vaccine.”

Japan extended the Covid-19 state of emergency in its major cities for a month on Tuesday, but Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government has vowed the Games will continue.

New cases of the virus have risen from around 6,000 a day in January to around 3,000 in recent days, but the country’s medical system remains under pressure and vaccinations have not started.

Tokyo 2020 rules make it clear that violations could result in expulsion from the Games or even from Japan. “Repeated or serious failure to comply with these rules may result in the withdrawal of your accreditation and your right to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” they say.

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