No sex, no cheering, masks on the podium and eating alone… Welcome to Joyless Games! Updated Tokyo 2020 rulebook highlights extreme restrictions on athletes due to COVID


no sex. No cheers. eat alone If competitors and support staff at this summer’s COVID-hit Tokyo Olympics do not follow these rules and many other rules, they risk being eliminated.

The latest ‘playbook’ of rules for 90,500 foreign spectators at the Games – 11,500 athletes and 79,000 coaches, support staff and officials – makes this clear in a section titled: ‘Non-respecting the playbook’.

‘Failure to follow these rules may result in disciplinary consequences,’ it says, listing some of the things that could land you in trouble, from refusal to take daily COVID tests to ‘deliberate disrespect for wearing a mask’ ‘ Social distancing for not following to do.

Main Dining Hall at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village, where athletes will eat alone

Competitors will have to follow extreme restrictions in sports due to Kovid

Competitors will have to follow extreme restrictions in sports due to covid

Penalties range from warnings to fines to boycotts from the Games, to disqualification if a person has committed an ‘offence’ after the end of the competition.

The sex ban has been pointed out in many ways by the organisers. The latest playbook states that attendees should ‘avoid physical contact including hugging and shaking hands’ and ‘keep physical interactions with others to a minimum’.

Since the Seoul Olympics in 1988, organizers of the Games have given away hundreds of thousands of condoms to promote safe sex in Olympic villages filled with thousands of the world’s fittest young men and women. Tokyo’s organizing committee this time has scrapped its plan to give out 160,000 condoms, saying the athletes will be thrown out when they go home.

For the first time in the history of any sporting event, it is mandatory for all attendees to have a smartphone, on which it is mandatory to install two apps, one for daily health check-up, the other for track and trace. You will need to enter your daily COVID test results as well as your temperature and other details about your well-being every day.

People from different delegations wait for the results of the test for COVID on arrival at Narita Airport

People from different delegations wait for the results of the test for COVID on arrival at Narita Airport

If you don’t have a smartphone, you must rent a smartphone upon arrival and cannot leave the airport without one, with the apps installed, also shown proof of a negative test within 72 hours of departure to Japan is. Another test is conducted on arrival and that too must be negative before you can board a sport-approved vehicle to go to your residence. Use of public transport is not allowed.

As of Friday, there were at least seven Covid cases reported in Japan among delegations from foreign sports: two from Uganda, one from Israel, one from Serbia, one from Russia and one nation still to be confirmed. Both Ugandans were double-pocketed and all those affected had negative Covid tests within 72 hours of their departure. A Nigerian official in his 60s was the first sports visitor to be hospitalized with Covid on Friday.

The first case, last month, was of a Ugandan coach who was denied formal entry into the country, and instead sent to a special ‘isolation facility’.

Any sports participant who tests positive for COVID will be sent to these facilities, usually local business hotels that are renovated for the pandemic. You can also end up in one of them if you are ‘pinged’ as a close contact with a confirmed COVID carrier.

Security in the athlete's village.  Each foreign delegation will have a COVID Liaison Officer

Security in the athlete’s village. Each foreign delegation will have a COVID Liaison Officer

In a note to those who may be detained, the playbook says: ‘Your team will be allowed to bring things (at the facility) for you. However, raw food, alcohol and cigarettes are prohibited. Smoking and drinking alcohol will be strictly prohibited during your recovery period. You will not be allowed to leave the hotel… The place and duration of your isolation will be determined by the Japanese health authorities.’

The updated playbook rules are largely extreme as 80 percent of Japan’s people oppose these Olympics in recent opinion polls, although this figure has sharply trended downward, even as recently as In many provinces also under a state of emergency.

All fans are now banned from attending any events, as organizers have banned foreign visitors to include all domestic ticket holders. The move comes after it was announced that Japan was entering a new state of emergency as Covid-19 cases continued to rise.

Even when the plan was to allow home fans to participate, cheering, singing and flag-waving were banned, as was any spectator communication over a whisper.

The games have caused huge controversy in Japan, with 80 percent of locals opposing them.

The games have caused huge controversy in Japan, with 80 percent of locals opposing them.

Playbook messaging appears to serve two purposes: to encourage strict adherence to all COVID protocols, even if it results in largely joyless games; And to promote the idea that the Olympics would not put local people in danger.

‘Safety first’ rules are in place for the safety of all Games participants and the people of Tokyo and Japan, the playbook says. ‘But the success of the Games depends on the fact that we take the responsibility of following the playbook at all times – start now.’

Each foreign delegation will be assigned a COVID Liaison Officer, and each participant will have a list (as short as possible) of people they need to connect with while in Japan.

The playbook says, ‘Spend time only with people you identify in the list of regular contacts you provide to your CLO. ‘Eat food at a distance of two meters from others unless instructed otherwise, or eat by yourself, keeping contact to a minimum.’

Medal ceremonies will go ahead, although all those involved will have to wear masks.

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