Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike yesterday said that it might be necessary to a stage a “simplified” Olympic Games next year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and that organizers are discussing possible changes.
Koike’s comments come after the Yomiuri newspaper reported that various options, such as mandatory COVID-19 testing and having fewer spectators, were being considered by organizers.
A lack of a defense against the virus is threatening the Games, said John Coates, head of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) inspectorate for Tokyo, adding that organizers need to plan for what could be a “very different” Olympics if there are no signs of COVID-19 being eradicated.
Koike did not go into details, but said that such discussions are necessary.
“Holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games calls for sympathy and understanding of Tokyoites and the Japanese people,” Koike told reporters. “For that, we need to rationalize what needs to be rationalized and simplify what needs to be simplified.”
The Yomiuri, citing government and organizing committee sources, reported that making polymerase chain reaction tests mandatory for all spectators and limiting movement in and out of the athletes’ village were among the options that Japan would discuss with the IOC.
The IOC and the Japanese government in March delayed the Games for a year, but have ruled out a delay beyond next year.
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