The story appears on

Page A16

June 24, 2021

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports

No booze as Tokyo 2020 sets fan rules

Alcohol, high-fives and talking loudly will be banned for the reduced numbers of Olympic ticket holders allowed into venues as organizers concede a “sense of celebration” will be limited at a Games already postponed by a year due to the coronavirus.

Organizers have pushed ahead with preparations for the Olympics, still called Tokyo 2020, despite strong concerns among the Japanese public that hosting competitors from around the world could result in further COVID-19 outbreaks.

Compounding those worries, a second member of Team Uganda, an athlete, has tested positive after being given a clean bill of health just days ago upon arrival in Japan.

Reports that organizers were thinking of allowing alcohol consumption in Olympic venues when sales have been restricted in and around Tokyo over concerns it would increase contact and mingling in bars provoked an outcry this week.

The hashtag “cancel the Olympic Games” garnered tens of thousands of tweets, adding to waves of protests online and on the streets over the past months.

A crowd of people gathered in front of the metropolitan government headquarters yesterday evening to protest against the Games, with participants chanting “cancel Olympics,” “stop the torch,” “save lives,” and “protect livelihoods.”

A month before the opening ceremony on July 23, Tokyo Olympics President Seiko Hashimoto reiterated that organizers wanted a safe and secure Games.

“If our citizens have concerns (over serving alcohol at the Olympics), I think we have to give up on that. That’s why we have decided to ban the sale of alcohol,” she told reporters.

Sponsor Asahi Breweries said it agreed with the decision, calling it natural.

Ticket holders, to be selected in a new lottery after domestic spectators were capped at up to 10,000 per venue, will also be asked to go straight to venues and straight home, to refrain from talking en route and should not ask athletes for autographs. “The major challenge at the Tokyo Games is to curb a flow of people and limit a sense of celebration,” Hashimoto said. “We are striving to make the Tokyo Games safe and secure, so it won’t be full of celebration.”

Japanese medical experts have said banning spectators is the least risky option but also given recommendations on how best to host the Games if spectators are admitted. Spectators from overseas have already been barred.

Organizers said yesterday they would decide on whether to allow spectators at night sessions, taking infections into account, by July 12 when virus curbs are due to be lifted in Tokyo and other areas.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has still not ruled out holding the Games without spectators if Tokyo is put back under a state of emergency, from which it only emerged on June 21.

The positive test for the Ugandan athlete followed an affirmative for a coach upon arrival in Japan on Saturday, and after the rest of the delegation were quarantined.

Their cases underscore the challenges ahead for organizers to make the Games safe, with daily testing of athletes, who will be confined to a “bubble” and kept away from the public.

The second positive test was announced by the team’s host city Izumisano in western Japan, confirming the rest of Team Uganda and a local city official who accompanied them from the country were close contacts.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend