TOKYO – The Japanese authorities called upon other countries to limit the number of people that accompany foreign leaders and ministers to Tokyo Olympics amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Kyodo news agency reported on Sunday citing own sources.
According to the agency, a group accompanying a foreign leader should comprise up to 11 people. A minister can be accompanied with a delegation not exceeding four persons. Relevant requests were sent to foreign embassies and national Olympic committees.
Also, foreign delegations will have to pass a novel coronavirus test within 72 hours before their departure to Japan, and undergo a health screening upon their arrival to the country. They will not be allowed to meet with athletes and will have to use only the transport provided by the host nation.
During the public events, they will be accompanied by a Japanese government official, who will make sure they comply with sanitary requirements, such as wearing a face mask and washing hands regularly, the agency said.
Meanwhile, the Sankei newspaper reported on Sunday citing own sources that organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may allow Olympic venues to be filled only to half of their capacity amid the threat of the novel coronavirus. For large stadiums, the number of spectators should not exceed 20,000 people.
However, if epidemiological situation in the country improves, organizers may ditch those restrictions. The final decision on the issue will be made in mid-April.
On March 9, Kyodo reported that the Japanese government had decided to exclude foreign spectators from attending the Tokyo Olympics to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.
Currently a ban is in effect in Japan on issuing new visas to citizens of all countries and regions worldwide due to the detection of a novel strain of the coronavirus in the UK. This ban became effective on December 28 of last year.
Initially, this measure was supposed to remain in effect until the end of January, yet later it was extended together with the emergency regime.
However, local news outlets repeatedly reported that even after the emergency regime is lifted, the local authorities would like to keep the ban on new visas for foreigners effective for some time.
Currently, only Japanese citizens and foreigners with long-term visas who permanently reside in the country are allowed to enter its territory.
According to the poll conducted by Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper, over 90 percent of Japanese think that the upcoming Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games should be held without spectators or with their minimal presence due to the risk of spread of the coronavirus.
The Tokyo Olympic Games were initially scheduled to be held between July 24 and August 9, 2020.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Games were postponed for a year and are now scheduled for the period from July 23 to August 8, 2021 while keeping the Tokyo-2020 name. (TASS)