Concerns about an upsurge in Covid-19 in Japan, particularly in Tokyo, have forced the Japanese government to apply severe health restrictions around Olympic events. Draconian measures were imposed on all participants.
► No Olympic torch relay on public roads
Local authorities announced Wednesday July 7 “Cancellation” of the Olympic torch relay “On the public highway” in the capital. All the sections that were to take place on public roads between 9 and 23 July, the opening date of the Games, “Were canceled, with the exception of isolated island areas” concerning the Ogasawara archipelago, located 900 km south of Tokyo.
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Instead, small Olympic torch lighting ceremonies will be held at various locations in the capital. “Without spectator”Tokyo authorities added in a statement inviting residents to stream them. “Comfortably” at their home.
► The public asked not to attend the marathon
The organizers of the Olympics and Japanese local authorities announced Tuesday, July 6 that they would ask the public to “Abstain” to attend the marathon and the walking events, which are to be held in Sapporo, more than 800 km as the crow flies north of the Japanese capital. “In view of the current situation of Covid-19, it will be necessary to reduce the risk of infection by limiting the movement of the public”, they justified in a press release.
► Foreign spectators prohibited, limited presence of local spectators
Unprecedented in Olympic history, the coming of spectators from abroad to the Olympics was banned in March by the organizers. In June, they had authorized the presence of local spectators, but at 50% of the capacity of each site and within a maximum limit of 10,000 people. No alcohol, no hug, no cheer, no autograph: “The festive atmosphere will have to be removed”, warned the president of the Seiko Hashimoto organizing committee.
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► Participants tested every day
If the vaccine has not been made compulsory for athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced in early May that it had reached an agreement with the Pfizer / BioNTech laboratories to provide them with vaccines. Athletes participating in the Olympics as well as their close staff will also be tested for Covid-19 every day during the competition.
► Foreign journalists monitored by GPS
Journalists coming from abroad to cover the Olympics will be constantly geolocated by GPS “To ensure that they will not go to places other than where they are authorized to go”, announced the president of the organizing committee on June 8. If they break the rules, they risk losing their accreditation. Hotels preselected by the organizers will be allocated to them in order to monitor that they respect the rules.
► New measures expected
A likely tightening of restrictions for the public should be noted in the coming days. Tuesday, the daily Asahi said spectators should be banned from the opening ceremony at Tokyo’s new Olympic stadium on July 23.
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The organizers would also seek to limit the number of official guests to ” few hundreds “. Friday July 2, the president of the organizing committee, had declared that the closed door on the sites of the Olympic competitions remained ” an option “.