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First Tokyo Olympics playbook details virus countermeasures

Olympic Playbook

International sports federation staff and athletes can be expected to face coronavirus testing or temperature checks before traveling to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, upon arrival and regularly during the Games, organizers said Wednesday in publishing the first in a series of playbooks outlining virus countermeasures.

The 32-page international sports federation playbook included principles for staff and technical officials. Playbooks for athletes and other groups are expected to be published over the next week, but the sports federations playbook provides the framework for the others.

Playbooks are expected to be updated at least two more times as the global virus situation becomes clearer ahead of the July 23 Olympic Opening Ceremony. The principles in the first versions may be modified as the Games approach.

IOC officials called the first playbook “a preliminary view” and “a starting point” in a Wednesday press conference.

Pierre Ducrey, the IOC’s Olympic Games operations director, said that, at a minimum, athletes will be tested every four days in Japan under the current measures. They will also be tested before leaving for Japan and upon arrival.

“For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require flexibility and understanding,” IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said. “We are providing the main directions at this stage, but naturally don’t have all the final details yet; an update will be published in the spring and may change as necessary even closer to the Games.”

The first playbook stipulates that if a sports federation staff member experiences any virus symptoms in the 14 days before departure, they do not travel to Japan. They must provide a negative test within 72 hours before departing for the Games and may be tested upon arrival, depending on where they are coming from, and regularly during the Games depending on their role.

They must be ready for temperature checks when entering a venue. If one’s temperature is 99.5 degrees or higher on two checks, they will not be allowed in the venue. For competition, they should support athletes by clapping and not singing or chanting.

They must also monitor personal health daily and update a health reporting app, set out a plan for daily activity and avoid public transportation.

The playbook repeated the current stance that vaccination is not a requirement to participate in the Games.

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