Masks, socials distancing may be must for Tokyo Olympics athletes

Tokyo, Oct 9 (efe-epa).- The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday said they propose to make face masks and social distancing measures mandatory for athletes as part of a code of conduct to prevent Covid-19 infections.

However, the athletes won’t be needed to wear protective face covers during training and competitions.

The Olympics organizing committee said the new measure was part of a strategy to “ensure the safety of athletes” and “protect Japanese citizens” from coronavirus infections during the Games, set to be held next summer in the Japanese capital.

The draft code of conduct prepared by the organizers also proposes to restrict the movement of the athletes to their residential quarters and training and competition facilities.

The measures, agreed upon between the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and Japanese authorities, will now be discussed by the end of the year with international sports federations and the International Olympic Committee to finalize a Covid-19 protocol.

The organizers are aiming to minimize the athletes’ contact with local citizens through measures such as restricted their movement outside the Olympic Village and other designated accommodations, arranging for exclusive transport for the sportspersons.

The athletes would be allowed to move only within designated areas inside their accommodations and sports facilities for social distancing.

The organizers will install automatic thermometers at the entrance of all facilities used by the athletes.

The number of people who can use shared spaces will be restricted. All the areas and objects of common use would be frequently disinfected by the authorities.

Other measures listed in the draft code of conduct include not talking in a loud voice, not remaining in closed and crowded spaces for too long even with face masks, and avoiding “unnecessary and non-urgent” contact with other people.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said in a televised press briefing that although the Olympic Village has traditionally been a place where athletes could mingle with other participants, the interaction would have to be curtailed to prevent the risk of infections.

As per the organizers’ proposal, the health and movement of athletes would be monitored in detail with the help of mobile phone applications, and each national contingent would have to appoint an official in charge of ensuring compliance with the code of conduct.

Muto said compliance and effectiveness of the rules needed to be ensured although possible punishment for violations was not finalized.

The organizers said their proposals were based on competitions held across the world during the pandemic, and the experience of Japan in successfully controlling the spread of Covid-19. EFE-EPA


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