Tokyo, Jun 15 (EFE).- The vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) arrived in Japan on Tuesday to finalize the preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo with just over a month left for the opening ceremony.
John Coates, who heads the IOC’s Coordination Commission, is accompanied by other senior IOC officials.
All of them will undergo a three-day quarantine and will restrict their activities and movements for the next eleven days, in compliance with the anti-Covid regulations established by the organization.
Tokyo 2020 participants, including athletes, sports federation personnel and the media, will have to comply with these and other guidelines, laid out in a playbook for athletes and officials, the final version of which will be presented in the next few hours.
Coates’ visit comes at a time of concern and considerable public opposition to the holding of the Games in the current context of the pandemic, for fear of the spread or appearance of new dangerous variants and strain on the country’s healthcare system due to the event.
Coates himself sparked controversy when he said at a press conference last month that the Olympics would go ahead even if Tokyo remained in a state of emergency.
The capital area and other parts of the country’s most populated areas have been under a state of emergency since April although the Japanese government is expected to lift the measure on June 20.
The authorities are expected to take a final decision on the matter later this week and are considering keeping a “quasi” state of emergency that establishes less strict restrictions in Tokyo during the duration of the Games, fearing the impact of lifting all the restrictions too early.
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled for July 23 after being postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
IOC President Thomas Bach is expected to arrive in Japan in July ahead of the opening ceremony, according to the international sports body. EFE