The shorter the time until the Tokyo Olympics, the stricter the rules. For now, the games continue, but they are almost completely protected from everything and from everyone. Athletes must adhere to strict rules and are also tested every day, according to the second edition of the so-called “Playbook”, which contains the rules that athletes must adhere to.
This document is based on “science” and “hundreds of sporting events with thousands of participants over the past year,” as noted in the introduction. And also at demo events now taking place in Tokyo.
So the rules for athletes have been tightened. Before departure, athletes must be tested twice and once in Japan itself. Athletes have to download two apps to find source, connect and report on their health daily. Moreover, they are not allowed to use public transportation for two weeks and the mask can only be taken off to exercise, eat or sleep. A tourist’s picnic or eating in a restaurant is completely out of the question. Anyone who does not adhere to the rules will be punished, although it is not yet clear what this entails. They may lose their accreditation.
Perhaps without spectators?
About 15,000 athletes are expected to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Polls show that about 70 percent of Japan’s population does not want the Games to be held. Under no circumstances are foreign supporters allowed to enter the country. It will be announced in June whether the Japanese public will be allowed to sit in the stands at all, but ‘Tokyo 2020’ president Seiko Hashimoto has already hinted at the Olympics with only athletes. “We are ready to host games without an audience.”
Japan has not yet issued a commitment that every athlete must be vaccinated. Several countries have already begun to prioritize athletes in the vaccination process in light of the Games. This happens in the Netherlands, but also, for example, in Australia, Belgium and Ukraine. The IOC can broker vaccines for athletes from countries where infrastructure has not yet been established. The athletes will then receive a vaccine for themselves and two additional vaccines. In Japan itself, where a state of emergency has now been declared in Tokyo, 1% of the population is currently being vaccinated. Nor are Japanese athletes.
There is no priority
The NOC-NSF reported Wednesday evening in an online press meeting that there is likely a “very small” group of athletes in the Netherlands who do not want to be vaccinated. There is no complete clarity yet on this subject. A medical conversation is held with them, according to Sports Parachute, but they cannot be forced to take the vaccine. So it has no consequences for their participation at present. Athletes who want to get vaccinated can get one in Papendal, where GGD Street was established.
Dutch coaching and staff – eg football player coaches – are not given priority at the moment. They have to wait to be called, although the NOC-NSF is consulting on the possibility of a “leniency”. Committee chair Anke van Zanen-Nyberg: “It would be great if the football players got together and played a training match, the staff also received a vaccine.” The association expects that no one will have to stay in the Netherlands, as they have not yet received a vaccine for the Games.
The games are scheduled to begin on July 23. The Paralympic Games begin just a month later, on August 24.
Japan is afraid of contagion – can the Olympics continue?
New measures are needed in Japan now with the number of virus infections on the rise again. And that’s while the Olympics will start in three months.
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