COVID-19 Playbook for the Tokyo Olympics

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Rules for an Olympics amid surging infections

All athletes and people connected to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been issued a "Playbook" containing rules designed to mitigate the coronavirus risk. The rules came into effect on July 1 and are designed to enable the Games to take place safely and protect participants as well as the people of Japan.

The International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese government worked on the Playbook with leading health and sports event experts.

About 11,000 athletes will compete in the Olympics, while an estimated 41,000 people are expected to travel from abroad for the event. The organizing committee is asking everyone involved to comply with the anti-infection rules.

Basic rules

The Playbook includes rules on basic anti-virus measures such as:

  • Get tested and provide proof of a negative result before you depart for the Games. You will be tested again when you arrive at the airport in Japan. Have regular screening tests during the Games as required for your role.
  • Wear a face mask at all times to protect yourself and everyone around you, except when eating, drinking, training, competing or sleeping.
  • Avoid physical contact, including hugs and handshakes.
  • Support athletes by clapping instead of singing or chanting.
  • Using public transportation is prohibited. If you cannot use dedicated Games vehicles, use Transport by Chartered Taxi service (TCT).
  • Stick to the activities you have outlined in your Activity Plan. You must leave your accommodation only to go to official Games venues and limited additional locations that you have outlined in your Activity Plan, as defined by the list of permitted destinations. Permitted destinations are those that are critical for the Games and which have COVID-19 countermeasures in place.
  • You must not walk around the city to visit tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars, gyms, etc.
  • The rules apply in the 14 days before you travel, during your journey, throughout your time in Japan and until your arrival at home

Other rules go into the frequency of virus tests, how to isolate people found to be infected and prohibited activities. The Playbook states that anyone caught breaking the rules may be removed from the Games and face fines or other sanctions.

Olympic minister calls for violators to be identified

On July 15, Japan's minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games said at a Diet meeting that she is aware of media reports that Playbook rules have been already violated.

Marukawa Tamayo says she urged the Organizing Committee to immediately identify people who break the rules and impose severe sanctions, including disqualification, and take remedial measures to avoid Olympic-connected people from contacting local residents, such as securing dedicated places for them to dine.

Rules could change, requiring a flexible response

The book is currently in its third incarnation released in June. There are multiple versions designated for: Athletes and Officials; Press, Broadcasters; Marketing Partners; International Federations; Workforce; Olympic and Paralympic Family.

The content of the book could change again as Japan's coronavirus situation is in flux and Tokyo entered a state of emergency on July 12. People are advised to keep up to date on the latest information.

More information

For more details, access the website of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This information is accurate as of July 15, 2021.