Organisers unveil new Covid-19 measures for Tokyo Games
Olympic officials on Wednesday (Feb 3) unveiled the first of many Covid-19 rules for the Tokyo Games this summer, starting by banning singing and chanting during events and mandating event participants to wear masks at “all times” except when eating, sleeping or outdoors.
The rules for international federation delegates, jointly published in a “playbook” by the Tokyo Olympic organisers, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee, range from regular hand washing protocols to disinfecting dining tables after eating.
There will be separate playbooks for athletes, media and broadcasters.
Below are some of the main guidelines published on Wednesday:
The organisers’ playbook says Games participants should wear face masks at all times, expect when eating and sleeping or outside.
The guidebook suggests ventilating rooms regularly or at least every 30 minutes and to avoid sharing items wherever possible.
It also suggests international federations bring more masks than usual so they can be replaced quickly during Tokyo’s hot and humid summer.
The guidebook says that participants should limit physical contact with athletes and maintain a two-metre distance at all times.
It also says people should avoid crowds and enclosed spaces whenever possible and avoid “unnecessary forms of physical contact” such as hugs, high-fives and handshakes.
The playbook says participants should not use public transport unless they are given permission to do so.
The guide says physical contact with others should be kept to a minimum during the 14 days before travelling to Japan.
Games participants are told to prepare a list of all people that they may come into contact with during the Games, including roommates and teammates.
At airports, participants should move as quickly as possible and not stop to visit any shops.
TEST, TRACE AND ISOLATE
Games participants will have their temperatures checked every time they enter venues and will need to report their results on a health reporting app.
In addition to taking tests within 72 hours before flying to Japan, they will be tested for Covid-19 at the airport and during the Games.
Athletes will receive tests at least every four days, the IOC’s Games operations director Pierre Ducrey said during a news briefing. Positive cases will prompt immediate isolation. More guidance on isolation and testing will come in April.
AT THE GAMES
Participants are allowed to support athletes by clapping, but not singing or chanting.
The IOC will work with National Olympic Committees to encourage and assist athletes and staff to get vaccinated in their home countries before they go to Japan, but vaccination is not a requirement to participate in the Games.
International delegations will also be required to appoint a Covid-19 liaison officer, who will be responsible for ensuring that the participants follow the guidelines.
Not respecting the rules may have an “impact on your participation to the Olympics... and in some cases your participation to competitions”, the playbook says, adding that repeated or serious failures to comply with the guidelines may result in the withdrawal of accreditation or the right to participate in an event. – REUTERS