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No beer, no cheer and no autograph-hunting at Tokyo 2020

Alcohol, high-fives and talking loudly will be banned for the reduced numbers of Olympic ticket holders allowed into venues, as organisers concede a "sense of celebration" will be limited at a Games already postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers have continued with preparations for the Olympics, despite strong concerns among the Japanese public that hosting teams from around the world could result in further Covid-19 outbreaks.

Adding to those worries, a second member of Team Uganda, an athlete, has tested positive after being cleared just days ago upon arrival in Japan.

Media reports that organisers were considering allowing alcohol consumption in Olympic venues sparked an outcry this week.

Alcohol sales have already been restricted in and around Toyko over concerns it would increase contact and mingling in bars. The hashtag "cancel the Olympic Games" garnered tens of thousands of tweets, adding to wave of protests online and on the streets over the past months.

A crowd of people gathered in front of the metropolitan government headquarters yesterday in protest against the Games.

A month before the July 23 opening ceremony, Tokyo Olympics president Seiko Hashimoto reiterated that organisers wanted a safe and secure Games.

"If our citizens have concerns (over serving alcohol at the Olympics), I think we have to give up on that. That's why we have decided to ban the sale of alcohol," she said.

Sponsor Asahi Breweries agreed with the decision, calling the move natural.

Ticket holders, to be selected in a new lottery after domestic spectators were capped at up to 10,000 per venue, will also be asked to go straight to venues and straight home, to refrain from talking en route and should not ask athletes for autographs.

Organisers will also decide by July 12 whether to ban spectators from night sessions. - REUTERS

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