Olympic organisers unveil tough rules fans must follow at events
The organisers of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo have unveiled tough new rules for spectators at the Games on Wednesday.
Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto warned festivities will have to be suppressed to keep everyone at the games safe from the COVID-19 and other diseases. She made this announcement as the Japanese government and organisers marked one month until the opening ceremony.
Games chiefs decided on Monday to allow up to 10,000 spectators into competition venues, but Hashimoto warned them not to expect the kind of festival mood currently being enjoyed by football fans at Euro 2020.
“In Europe, the venues are filled with celebration,” she said. “Unfortunately, we may not be able to do the same.” The former cyclist then told the reporters some of the strict rules that would be enforced at the Olympic games this summer.
“Spectators will need to clear several antivirus requirements, including temperature checks and mask-wearing, just to get into venues – with no refunds available for those who can’t.”
“Once inside, they are forbidden from cheering or “making direct contact with other spectators” and will be asked to go straight home after events end.”
“Asking athletes for autographs or “expressing verbal support” is also a no-no, as is waving a towel or “any form of cheering that could create a crowd”.
“The festive mood will have to be suppressed – that has become a major challenge,” Hashimoto told reporters.
“People can feel joy in their hearts, but they can’t be loud and they have to avoid crowds. Those are the areas where we need to be creative, and we are putting in a lot of effort to come up with a new way of celebrating.”
Spectators will also have to do without alcohol, even though it is allowed at other sporting events currently being held in Japan. Hashimoto said the ban was decided “to alleviate the concerns of the public as much as possible.”
Japanese government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said it was “important that the guidelines are implemented appropriately” so that fans could “enjoy the Games in a safe and secure manner”.
With the July 23 opening ceremony nearing, organisers are scrambling to finalise preparations and win over the public, pledging the Games will be safe for locals and participants.