The Olympics are officially going to happen this year on July 23rd in Tokyo, Japan. After the Games were postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many individuals behind-the-scenes have been working hard this past year to make sure these Games happen as safely and efficiently as possible, which means all the athletes will need to abide by a strict set of rules to keep themselves and others safe.
11,500 athletes are expected to travel to Japan from hundreds of countries this July. Additionally, about 79,000 journalists, officials, and staff will be in attendance.
The individuals working behind the scenes have created an official list of rules that all parties involved must follow to avoid being potentially barred from competing or having their credentials completely stripped.
The International Olympic Committee announced last month that Pfizer would be donating Covid-19 vaccines to all athletes and country delegates before they travel to Japan. While taking the vaccine isn’t a requirement for attending and participating in the Games, it’s highly encouraged for obvious safety reasons.
All competitors from outside Japan must be tested for Covid-19 twice, on two separate days within 96 hours of their flight to Japan, they will then be tested again upon arrival. Athletes will be expected to download an app that will monitor their location and be used for contact tracing purposes as well.
Athletes will also be required to quarantine for three days after they arrive. They will be allowed to participate in Game related activities during quarantine as long as they continue to test negative; they will be tested daily.
Athletes will also be required to do daily reporting of their temperature and any potential symptoms that appear within the app. Temperatures will be checked upon entry to every Olympic venue.
If an athlete does test positive for the virus, they will immediately go into isolation and their apps will be used to contact and trace any other individual they may have been in contact with.
Social distancing protocols will also be enforced as all athletes will be competing at least six-and-a-half feet apart from each other. All physical interactions are discouraged as a means of preventing potential spreading of the virus.
Athletes will be able to eat within the Olympic village or at specially-permitted venues and locations; they won’t be able to explore Japan during their downtime.
Unless athletes are eating, drinking, sleeping, training, or competing, they will also be expected to wear a mask the whole time they’re at the Games. These rules will ideally keep all athletes, journalists, and behind the scenes workers safe and healthy throughout the entirety of the summer Games.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.