Fans Urged To Stay Away From Olympic Marathon Over COVID-19 Fears

Fans Urged To Stay Away From Olympic Marathon Over COVID-19 Fears 2
A girl stands in entrance of the Olympic Rings at nightfall in Yokohama on July 2, 2021. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

 

The public will likely be urged to not line the route of the Olympic marathon over fears that crowds of followers might unfold the coronavirus, Tokyo 2020 organisers stated Tuesday.

With lower than three weeks earlier than the pandemic-postponed Games start, concern is rising over a rebound in virus circumstances in Japan.

“In view of the current Covid-19 situation, it will be necessary to reduce the risk of infection by restricting the movement of members of the public,” organisers stated in a press release concerning the marathon and race stroll occasions.

“It has therefore been decided to ask the public to refrain from spectating along the course.”

The marathon was on the centre of controversy within the authentic build-up to the 2020 Games, when it was moved to northern Sapporo from Tokyo to keep away from the capital’s punishing summer time warmth.

The ladies’s and males’s marathon finals are among the many final occasions at this summer time’s Games and can happen on August 7 and eight.

At a marathon rehearsal occasion in Sapporo in May, safety guards stood with indicators round their necks asking individuals to “please refrain from watching the race” to stop infections.

That occasion had unfolded in a muted ambiance, with scattered onlookers in facemasks clapping however refraining from cheering, to keep away from spreading droplets.

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Organisers on Tuesday vowed to work with native authorities “to ensure a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games for all participants and for the citizens of Sapporo and Hokkaido”.

But with Covid-19 circumstances on the rise and fears over the unfold of recent coronavirus variants, Japan’s authorities is that this week anticipated to increase virus restrictions in a number of components of the nation.

The present measures, in place in Tokyo and Sapporo, cap spectators at sports activities occasions at 5,000 and restrict the opening hours of bars and eating places.

Japan’s Covid-19 outbreak has not been as extreme as in some nations, with round 14,800 deaths, however specialists say one other wave might stretch medical companies because the Olympics start.

For ticketed Olympic occasions, Games organisers final month set a restrict of 10,000 home followers, or half of every venue’s capability. Overseas followers have already been barred.

But an increase in infections has pressured a rethink — with Games president Seiko Hashimoto just lately warning {that a} closed-door Olympics stays an choice.

Participants have already begun arriving in Japan, with 11,000 Olympic athletes from round 200 nations set to participate.

On Monday, a Japanese newspaper reported that followers would doubtless be banned from the July 23 opening ceremony over virus fears, however a decreased variety of VIPs and Olympic officers would be capable to attend.

AFP

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Fans Urged To Stay Away From Olympic Marathon Over COVID-19 Fears

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