Olympians will not need coronavirus vaccine at Tokyo 2020 Games in June

Thursday, February 4th, 2021 00:00 |
In this file photo taken on July 24, 2019 International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach (R) walks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) as they leave the stage during a ceremony marking one year before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Photo/PHOTO/FILE

Tokyo, Wednesday

Tokyo 2020 organisers have revealed detailed Covid guidelines that will be in place throughout the Olympics and Paralympics this summer in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

There have been growing fears over whether the Olympics will take place this summer following a recent spike in infections in Japan and across the world, but on Wednesday athletes and fans were given a taste of what to expect in Tokyo.

It had previously been reported that all athletes would need to be vaccinated against Covid in a bid to save the Games and compete in Tokyo but that idea has been quashed by organisers.

As organisers set out a series of measures in the IOC’s first ‘Playbook’, it was revealed that athletes are in fact not required to be vaccinated ahead of the Olympics - which are due to begin on July 23 and end on August 8.

Guidelines in place for athletes and officials include that the travelling party must be tested 72 hours before leaving their respective country, and then again on arriving in Japan.

Furthermore, athletes will be tested every four days at the Games while face masks must be worn at all times unless they are outdoors or two metres away from each other.

The organisers also revealed that there will be additional requirements in place for the first 14 days in Japan, but this is yet unclear whether they are talking about quarantine.

And those in attendance at events must support athletes competing by clapping only and not singing or chanting.

While testing was the main topic regarding measures in Tokyo, the travelling party were warned that they must stay in their bio-secure bubble throughout the Games.

Those involved at the Tokyo Games cannot ‘visit tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars, or gyms’ and must avoid public transport at all costs.

And finally, athletes and officials need to also ‘avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact such as hugs, high-fives and handshakes.’

The initial ‘Playbook’ is broadly aimed at international federations and technical officials, with more specific editions, aimed at athletes, media and broadcasters, set for release in the coming days.  

On Wednesday, IOC executive director Christophe Dubi said: ‘The health and safety of everyone at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are our top priority.

‘We each have our part to play. That’s why these Playbooks have been created - with the rules that will make each and every one of us a sound, safe and active contributor to the Games.

‘We know these Olympic Games will be different in a number of ways. For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require flexibility and understanding.

‘By committing to following the Playbooks we will be stronger together. In return, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be remembered as a historic moment for humanity, the Olympic Movement and all those contributing to their success.’ -Dailymail

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