Tokyo Olympics Organisers Release Playbooks To Ensure Safe Games
By Taruka Srivastav | April 29, 2021
As lockdowns continue in Japan with less than three months to go until the opening of the Games, organisers have come together to reassure participants and the public of the safety of the Tokyo event.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan today agreed on the following measures to ensure the safe organisation of the Games.
The five parties will continue to deploy all possible COVID-19 countermeasures and place the highest priority on safety for the sake of all participants, including the athletes, and the Japanese public who will be playing host to the Games.
1. The COVID-19 countermeasures included in the Playbooks (rulebooks) published in February this year have since been reviewed and significantly updated in order to address the emergence of new mutant coronavirus strains and the evolving situation of the pandemic. New rules that have to be observed by everyone involved in the Games during their stay in Japan have been incorporated, and others updated, so that the Tokyo 2020 Games can be held safely. The most important measures, which were agreed by all the five parties today, appear in the second edition of the Playbooks and are as follows:
- All participants are required to take two COVID-19 tests before their flight to Japan.
- In principle, athletes and all those in close proximity with athletes will be tested daily to minimise the risk of undetected positive cases that could transmit the virus. The dates and times will be set in line with the sports events and schedule.
- All other Games participants will be tested daily for three days after their arrival. After the first three days and throughout their stay, they will be tested regularly, based on the operational nature of their role and level of contact with athletes.
- All Games participants must, in principle, only follow the activities they have outlined in their activity plan. They must minimise contact within one metre of Games participants who have already been in Japan for more than 14 days, and Japanese residents.
- All Games participants must, in principle, exclusively use dedicated Games vehicles, and they are not allowed to use public transport.
- All Games participants must, in principle, eat only in the limited locations where COVID-19 countermeasures are in place, including catering facilities at Games venues, their accommodation’s restaurant, and their rooms, using room service or food delivery.
- Close contacts are defined as those who have prolonged contact (for 15 minutes or more) with a person who has a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, within one metre, without wearing a face mask. This is particularly applicable when such contact happens in enclosed spaces such as hotel rooms or vehicles. Cases will be confirmed by the Japanese health authorities.
The Playbooks have been developed based on science, benefiting from learnings gathered during the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to implementing the most effective tools being used throughout society, such as mask wearing, personal hygiene and physical distancing, they also draw upon the experience of hundreds of sports events that have taken place across the world during the pandemic, which have been held safely, with minimal risk to participants and the local population. They are based on the ongoing work of the All Partners Task Force, which includes the Government of Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the IOC, IPC, World Health Organization and independent experts and organisations from across the world. A third version of the Playbooks is expected to be published in June. As with all the previous versions, it will take the latest scientific developments into consideration.
2. As we look into the evolving situation with the domestic infections status involving new strains, we have agreed that a decision regarding spectator capacity at the Olympic and Paralympic venues will be made in June, in line with the government’s general guidance concerning the upper limit of spectator capacity in sports events. This follows the significant decision in March, when the IOC and IPC were informed about the conclusion of the Japanese parties not to allow entry into Japan for overseas spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the prevailing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the IOC, the IPC and Tokyo 2020 continue to work on optimising the number of participants attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.