IOC says COVID-safe Tokyo Olympics are ready to go
With just 65 days to go before the opening ceremony of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday it is prepared to hold the games despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the organizational challenges.
John Coates, head of the IOC Coordination Commission, issued a statement confirming as many as 75 percent of the residents of the Olympic Village are already vaccinated. “And we have good reason to believe that this figure will be well over 80 percent at the time of the Games,” he added.
Other measures include COVID testing upon arrival at airports, frequent testing throughout the stay in Japan, restricted travel between hotels and event venues, and social distancing.
“The purpose of our COVID-19 countermeasures is twofold: to provide a safe and secure environment for athletes and Games participants and, equally important, for the safety and security of the people of Japan,” said President Hashimoto Seiko. “As the world faces so many shared challenges, the mission of these Games will be to point the way to how we can overcome them, and to pass that on to the next generation.”
The IOC also noted that Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization has expressed his confidence in the ability to hold the Olympic Games safely in Tokyo.
“There has been a tremendous amount of work done on the Playbooks for the teams and the delegations that are coming; a lot of preparations amongst those teams regarding testing and quarantines and arrival,” said Ryan. “And measures that are being taken in the Olympic Villages, in the training facilities and around the venues themselves.”