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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 28 February 2021

Fans asked not to cheer athletes at Tokyo Olympics as organisers unveil Covid-19 safety measures

IOC 'playbook' for Summer Games says that athletes and officials should not use public transport without permission and asks them to wear face masks at 'all times'

Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have said that athletes and officials should not use public transport without permission, and asked them to wear face masks at "all times" during the event, except when eating or sleeping.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) unveiled a "playbook" on Wednesday detailing Covid-19 measures that will be taken during the Summer Games this year. They also asked fans not to sing or chant to support athletes.

Officials said they must make a decision on the number of overall spectators that would be allowed by Spring.

Japan has been hit less severely by the pandemic than many other advanced economies, with fewer than 6,000 deaths recorded so far. But a recent surge in cases forced it to close its borders to non-resident foreigners and declare a state of emergency in some parts of the country.

There are public fears that an influx of athletes will spread the virus, and polls show a majority of Japanese residents oppose the Games taking place this year.

An official for the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee said it was important to ensure that the local medical system and the Olympics were both sustainable.

Pierre Ducrey, the International Olympic Committee's games operations director, told a joint press briefing that the games would be a "different experience".

“For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require flexibility and understanding,” Ducrey said. “We are providing the main directions at this stage but naturally don’t have all the final details yet.

“We will make sure all the information needed is shared as quickly as possible to ensure we are fully prepared to protect all those coming to and residing in Japan during the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

Delegations and staff will be required to appoint a Covid-19 liaison officer, who will be responsible for ensuring the participants follow the guidelines. The playbook also advises against shopping at the airport upon arrivals in Japan.

Athletes must have a negative Covid test certificate and present a detailed activity plan for their first 14 days in Tokyo. The negative test must be taken within 72 hours of departure.

They will also have to use an app to monitor and detail their health for 14 days before travel and prepare a list of anyone who they will be in close contact with during their stay in Japan.

Updated: February 3, 2021 03:39 PM

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