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Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Playbook rules aim to safeguard against Coronavirus

Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Playbook rules aim to safeguard against Coronavirus
February 3, 2021

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (Tokyo 2020), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have today published the first in a series of guidance ‘Playbooks’ providing advice for the safe staging of this years’ rescheduled Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Playbooks outline the personal responsibilities of all involved in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games to ensure their safe and successful delivery, providing a framework of basic principles that each key stakeholder group will follow before they travel to Japan, when entering Japan, during their time at the Games and when leaving the Games.

With the first Playbook aimed at members of international federations and technical officials,  further versions due to be published will be aimed at athletes and media.

The move to highlight the processes in place to ensure a safe Games comes as organisers stress they are committed to a "successful and safe delivery" of the Games, despite Tokyo currently being in a state of emergency due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In terms of behaviour, the Playbook advises that that singing or chanting will be discouraged at Games venues to safeguard against the spread of Coronavirus with clapping encouraged.

Instead, those attending the Olympics - due to begin on 23rd July - and Paralympics - set to start on 24th August - will be encouraged to clap in order to show support.

In addition, attendees will have to complete a "14-day activity plan" detailing "all your planned activities", including travel and accommodation plans.

While the first Playbook is not aimed at athletes, it would also appear competitors may not be allowed to attend other sporting events at the Games.

It states "you must not visit Games venues as a spectator" and "you must not visit tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars and gyms" for the first 14 days from arrival, adding “you must only leave your accommodation to go to Official Games Venues and limited additional locations.”

It also advises that attendees must wear face masks at all times "unless outside or two metres away from others."

Under the ‘At The Games’ section of the Playbook attendees are told that they will be responsible for “proactively monitoring and reporting” their personal health every day via a health reporting app.

Temperature checks will be conducted every time a person enters a Games venue, while physical contact with athletes will require a two-metre distance, with one-metres for others.

However, the Playbook stresses that risk cannot be "fully eliminated" and that attendees do so "at your own risk".

The Playbook also highlights the risk of non-compliance, advising “non-respect of the rules contained in this Playbook may expose you to consequences that may have an impact on your participation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, your access to Games venues and, in some cases, on your participation to competitions. Repeated or serious failures to comply with these rules may result in the withdrawal of your accreditation and right to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The Playbooks have been developed jointly by Tokyo 2020, the IOC and IPC and will be updated in the months leading up to the Games. They are based on the work of the All Partners Task Force, which also includes the World Health Organization, Government of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, independent experts and organisations from across the world.

A vaccination will not be compulsory for those attending the Games, although a negative COVID-19 test in the four weeks leading up to the event will be, while athletes will be tested a minimum of every four days during the Games.

Attendees must adhere to the rules outlined in their Playbook or risk having their accreditation or right to be at the Games withdrawn.

Further guidelines include avoiding enclosed spaces and physical contact "including hugs and handshakes", and that public transport should not be used unless permission is given.

IOC officials have repeatedly stressed that the Games will go ahead despite rising numbers of Coronavirus cases in Japan’s and the pandemic’s spread across competing nations.

Images: The cover (top) and hygiene details (below) of the first Tokyo 2020 Playbook.

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