COVID-19 Playbook for the Tokyo Olympics

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Rules for Olympics amid spike in infections

All athletes and people linked to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have received a “Playbook” containing rules designed to mitigate the risk of coronavirus. The rules came into effect on July 1 and are designed to allow the Games to run safely and to protect participants as well as the Japanese people.

The International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese Government have worked on the Playbook with leading experts in health and sporting events.

About 11,000 athletes will participate in the Olympics, while about 41,000 people are expected to travel from overseas for the event. The organizing committee asks everyone involved to respect the anti-infective rules.

Basic rules

The Playbook includes rules on basic antivirus measures such as:

  • Get tested and provide proof of a negative result before you leave for the Games. You will be tested again upon arrival at the airport in Japan. Get regular drug tests during the Games, as your role requires.
  • Wear a face shield at all times to protect yourself and everyone around you, except when eating, drinking, training, competing, or sleeping.
  • Avoid physical contact, including hugs and handshakes.
  • Support the athletes by clapping instead of singing or chanting.
  • The use of public transport is prohibited. If you cannot use dedicated Games vehicles, use the Transport by Chartered Taxi (TCT) service.
  • Stick to the activities you have outlined in your business plan. You must leave your accommodation only to go to the official Games websites and additional limited locations that you have indicated in your activity plan, as defined by the list of permitted destinations. Allowed destinations are those that are essential for the Games and that have COVID-19 countermeasures in place.
  • You don’t have to walk around the city to visit tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars, gyms, etc.
  • Rules apply 14 days before your trip, during your trip, throughout your stay in Japan, and until you get home

Other rules concern the frequency of viral tests, how to isolate infected people and what activities are prohibited. The Playbook states that anyone caught breaking the rules can be banned from the Games and face fines or other penalties.

Olympic Minister calls for identification of offenders

On July 15, Japan’s Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo told a Diet meeting that she was aware of media reports that the Playbook rules had already been violated.

Marukawa Tamayo says she urged the organizing committee to immediately identify those who break the rules and impose severe penalties, including disqualification, and take corrective action to prevent people linked to the Olympics from contacting local residents, such as reserving dedicated places for them to dine.

Rules could change, requiring a flexible response

The book is currently in its third incarnation published in June. There are several versions designed for: athletes and officials; Press, broadcasters; Marketing partners; International Federations; Workforce; Olympic and Paralympic family.

The contents of the book could change again as the coronavirus situation in Japan is constantly changing and Tokyo entered a state of emergency on July 12. People are advised to keep up to date with the latest information.

More information

For more details, visit the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee website.

This information is correct as of July 15, 2021.

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