Tokyo Olympics 2020: The Show Must – and Will – Go On

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The calendar won’t accurately reflect the name of the 2020 Games, but what’s a year’s discrepancy between international friends?

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics will take place as planned despite the global disruption of Covid-19, and being pushed a whole year forward. International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials have finally released what they’re calling a ‘playbook,’ that outlines and details all health and safety measures to be followed throughout the duration of the Tokyo Olympics.

Image Credit: Reuters/The Japan Times

Simply titled ‘The Playbook‘, IOC officials have listed detailed descriptions of safety rules that applies to everyone involved and who will be present at the games such as International Federation Delegates, guests, judges, jury members, tech officials, staff, technicians, heads of media, medical officers, and paralympics participants. It’s also been revealed that athletes, media personnel, and broadcasters will receive their own respective playbooks, as well.

Tokyo 2020 SOP Highlights

1. Personal Hygiene Must be Everyone’s Top Priority

The Playbook dictates that athletes must have their face masks on at all times except for when they are eating and sleeping. The new rules also recommend that rooms be ventilated at regular intervals, preferably every 30 minutes, and the sharing of personal belongings is strictly prohibited.

Image via Olympic Channel

Organizers are also encouraged to stock up on extra face masks, as the international event will be held during the summer with expected heat and humidity.

2. Observe Physical Distancing at All Times

Image Credit: Bloomberg

Ensuring that athletes are being safe at all times, the IOC playbook advises all participants to limit physical contact completely. They must even refrain from celebratory hugs, high-fives, or handshakes. It also states that athletes should not take public transport unless given permission to do so, and to avoid large crowds.

3. There’s a 14-day Isolation Period Before Entering Japan

On top of making as little contact as possible with others, participating athletes are also required to make a list of potential people they may have close contact with during the duration of their stay at the Games, such as roommates, teammates, and country delegates.

Image Credit: Koji Sasahara/Associated Press/The Japan Times

All athletes are additionally required to remain isolated from others as much as possible during their 14-day waiting period before entering Japan, and upon arrival, are not allowed any tourist activities at the airport. Athletes and delegates will be promptly taken to get their Covid-19 tests done before being allowed to leave the airport.

Although IOC officials are not making it a requirement for athletes to get their Covid-19 tests done in their respective home countries, getting tested is an additional plus point for easier disembarking.

4. Athletes to be Tested Every Four Days

According to the IOC’s Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey, athletes will be tested every four days, and anyone who tests positive will immediately be put in isolation.

Image Credit: Reuters

Temperature scanning will be made mandatory at every venue, and athletes will be required to use a special health app on their mobiles to record daily temperature taking. Participants are also not allowed to chant, cheer loudly, or sing when celebrating victories. Only clapping will be the standard practice.


6. All International Delegations Must Have an Officially Appointed Covid-19 Liaison

Each international delegation will have to appoint an official Covid-19 ‘safety officer’ or liaison. The liaison will be responsible for their entire team’s cooperation and ensure all safety and health rules are observed. If any athlete is caught flouting the rules, their participation could be revoked, thus negatively impacting their country’s opportunity to bag medals.

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori delivers a speech at a beginning of a meeting on preparations for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics at the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) headquarters in Tokyo on February 2, 2021. | Image Credit: Kazuhiro NOGI / POOL / AFP

It’s common knowledge that the Japanese take their social mannerisms and rules very seriously, especially during something as world-changing as a global pandemic. In the spirit of Olympic sportsmanship, it’s important for all international delegations and guests comply with their host’s requests to ensure a smooth-sailing, safe, and successful summer Olympic games, sure to be unlike any Olympics in living memory.

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