Fans banned from alcohol, high-fives at Tokyo OlympicsCovid-19 restrictions mean fans won’t be able to many things they would usually be able to at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)


Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have announced tough new rules for the lucky few fans who will be allowed to attend the Games next month.

On Monday, it was announced that up to 10,000 Japanese spectators would be allowed to watch events at competition venues, but no cheering would be permitted.

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Now Tokyo Olympics President Seiko Hashimoto has revealed new decisions will be put in place to ensure the Games are run safely.

Alcohol will not be served at venues, hugging and high-fives won’t be permitted and fans won’t be able to get autographs from their favourite athletes.

Spectators will also be required to wear a mask and pass a temperature check to enter venues.

“The festive mood will have to be suppressed — that has become a major challenge,” Hashimoto told reporters on Wednesday night (AEST).

“People can feel joy in their hearts, but they can’t be loud and they have to avoid crowds,” she added.

“Those are the areas where we need to be creative, and we are putting in a lot of effort to come up with a new way of celebrating.”

Also on the list of no-nos is “expressing verbal support” or acts of encouragement such as waving a towel.

Spectators will have to do without alcohol, even though it is allowed at other sporting events currently being held in Japan.

The restrictions may leave some sports fans wondering if it is even worth the effort of going to the trouble of buying tickets and going to the Games.

Hashimoto said the ban was decided “to alleviate the concerns of the public as much as possible.”

Japanese government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said it was “important that the guidelines are implemented appropriately” so that fans could “enjoy the Games in a safe and secure manner”.

With the July 23 opening ceremony nearing, organisers are scrambling to finalise preparations and win over a sceptical public, pledging the Games will be safe for locals and participants.

Organisers have already begun arriving, including International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates, who accompanied Hashimoto on a tour of the Games’ gymnastics venue on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, former athlete Hashimoto said a stripped-back Games was a chance to refocus attention on the “true values” of the Olympics.

“In recent years when I was participating as an athlete, there were concerns that this (event) has become so huge,” she said.

“This time, I feel that the true values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are finally being discussed.”

It may not be a line that convinces everyone, with athletes facing restrictions including daily testing and a ban on travel except between venues and the Olympic Village.

With AFP



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