By Joe Apu
The International Olympic Committee and the Local Organising Committee in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has proposed to bar athletes from leaving the Olympic Village other than to go to their competition venues, according to new rules to be published from next week.
According to information gathered from dailymail.com, competitors will be tested for COVID-19 before and after they arrive in Japan and then every four days while at the Games – but they will not have to quarantine when they land in the country.
Athletes can only stay in the Village from five days before their event and must leave straight away afterwards, so will not be allowed to party or sightsee.
The International Olympic Committee will next week release a ‘playbook’ of the countermeasures they plan to put in place in an attempt to stop coronavirus spreading at the Games in the summer.
Revealing one of the new guidelines, John Coates, the IOC vice-president and chair of the Tokyo 2020 coordination commission, said: ‘Athletes will be limited to the Olympic Village and transport to their venue for competition and training – that’s it, no going downtown.’
However, it is understood the rules should not affect Team GB’s pre-Games plans, as athletes will still be allowed to go into holding camps arranged by their own country before moving to the Village closer to competition.
Meanwhile, Tokyo organisers stand to lose £585million in ticket revenue if the Games go behind closed doors – a move which looks increasingly likely.
IOC president Thomas Bach and Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori both admitted for the first time this week that crowds could be barred from this summer’s event.
Organisers are set to make a decision on spectators by the end of March and are understood to currently be looking at three options – empty stadiums, 50 per cent capacity or full venues.
Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency but its average daily total of coronavirus cases over the past seven-day period has now dropped below 1,000 for the first time since early January.