Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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Participants at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be asked to wear face masks at all times and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Athletes and staff will be requested to wear face masks at all times, except during competition and meals, as reported by Kyodo News.

This is a part of plan to avoid the "3Cs" - closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings.

Indoor venues will be ventilated every 30 minutes, while people in the Athletes' Village will only be able to stay in the cafeteria for 30 minutes for breakfast and one hour for lunch and dinner.

They will receive the menus on their phones to avoid congestion.

Planned coronavirus countermeasures were presented by Tokyo 2020 to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee at a joint project review earlier this month.

Following the meeting, IOC Coordination Commission chairman John Coates said competitors would be encouraged to limit their stay at the Athletes' Village as much as possible.

Athletes are also likely to be told to remain in the Village during their stay in the Japanese capital and will be encouraged not to go out sightseeing.

Countermeasures were among the main items discussed during the project review, but Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō suggested no conclusions or decisions had yet been reached.

The coronavirus countermeasures taskforce, formed of officials from the Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020, is still assessing possible scenarios and measures that could allow the Games to run as scheduled in 2021.

A progress report is expected to be released on December 2.

Tokyo 2020 was postponed in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Olympics now scheduled for July 23 to August 8 and the Paralympics for August 24 to September 5.

Organisers have received a boost from the development of three potential coronavirus vaccines.

A vaccine being developed by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be 90 per cent effective in preventing people from getting coronavirus after global trials, while another American company, Moderna, revealed a COVID-19 vaccine it is developing is nearly 95 per cent effective.

Last week, a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford was found to be 70 per cent effective, although researchers have claimed the figure may be as high as 90 per cent by tweaking the dose.

During his recent visit to Japan, IOC President Thomas Bach suggested the news of effective coronavirus vaccines made him "very confident that we can have spectators in the Olympics stadium next year and that spectators will enjoy a safe environment".

Bach also revealed athletes would be encouraged to have a vaccine before the Games, but it would not be an entry requirement.

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Athletes could be tested for coronavirus every four to five days during their time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, as part of countermeasures.

Citing sources with "knowledge of the matter", Japanese news agency Kyodo News understands the country's Government is poised to reveal the testing policy.

It is expected to be announced after the coronavirus countermeasures taskforce, formed of officials from the Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020, meet at the Prime Minister's office today.

A revised itinerary for events up to and including the Games and immigration measures for participants are also due to be unveiled as part of a progress report.

According to Kyodo News athletes will be free to travel into Japan from nations that would otherwise be refused entry under infection rules.

Japan currently has a 14-day quarantine period for new arrivals from most countries, but organisers are considering easing restrictions.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō has previously confirmed that athletes, coaches and officials can expect to be exempt from quarantining, although they are likely to face stringent measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

The wearing of face masks and social distancing are expected to be compulsory.

Athletes will also be encouraged to limit their stay in Japan after competition and they must have recorded a negative COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before arriving in the host nation.

Earlier this week it was reported that $960 million (£720 million/€801 million) was being spent on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020.

The estimated cost of the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is set at $1.9 billion (£1.4 billion/€1.6 billion).

The Olympics are now due to take place from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

Organisers have been boosted by the development of three potential coronavirus vaccines by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and the University of Oxford.

The United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to license the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine with hundreds of thousands of doses expected to be available from next week.

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Athletes will be expected to arrive in the Tokyo 2020 Athletes’ Village five days prior to their competition at Tokyo 2020 and depart a maximum of two days afterwards.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed it had requested National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to adapt their arrival and departure plans to fit in with these new rules designed to reduce the risk of coronavirus.

IOC President Thomas Bach, speaking after the organisation’s Executive Board meeting today, revealed the decision was taken to minimise the number of people living in the Athletes’ Village.

"We think that this is absolutely necessary, because we need to reduce and minimise the number of residents in the Olympic Village to minimise the risk of COVID exposure," Bach said.

"At the same time, we wanted to maintain the athletes’ experience.

"We wanted to be balanced with the considerations about athletic performance and also with attendance at the Opening Ceremony."

The guidance advises that in cases where travel time to Japan and time difference is minimal, the number of days spent in the Olympic Village prior to the competition should be shorter.

Where possible, athletes are expected to acclimatise to the time differences in pre-Games training camps in Japan rather than in the Olympic Village.

Athletes residing in satellite villages who have completed their competition are not recommended to return to reside in the Tokyo Olympic Village in order to minimise the risk of cross contamination.

Sport specific team officials are expected to follow the same policy as athletes in terms of arrivals and departure patterns.

Non-sport specific team officials, such as administration staff, general team doctors and physiotherapists, can arrive and depart depending on NOC needs whilst minimising their time in the Village following the departure of their last athlete.

Exemptions of one or two days could apply depending on training obligations and partners, time zones, flight availability and the Games Ceremonies.

IOC vice-president John Coates last month suggested such restrictions may be required at the Games.

The Tokyo 2020 IOC Coordination Commission chairman warned that athletes staying longer at the Village "increases the potential for problems".

Coates had also warned of the need to ensure the Athletes' Village is the "safest place in Tokyo" during the Games and to control the facility so it does not become "overly populated".

The number of officials attending the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be limited to six as part of coronavirus countermeasures which are set to be in place at the Games.

Athletes are also likely to be told to remain in the Village and will be encouraged not to go out sightseeing.

The IOC claimed that athletes were central to the decision-making process for these guidelines, with IOC Athletes’ Commission chair Kirsty Coventry serving as a co-chair of a working group on the issue.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission were presented with the guidelines in November, with the body reportedly offering full support for the plans to adapt the time residents will be in the Olympic Village.

Further guidelines are expected to be published by the IOC and Tokyo 2020 early next year.

Each NOC will be responsible for creating, communicating and enforcing their respective arrival and departure policies based on these guidelines, the IOC said.

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Tokyo 2020 has claimed the postponement of the Olympic Games will cost $2.8 billion (£2 billion/€2.3 billion), as the Organising Committee confirmed how the additional costs would be allocated.

Japanese media reports last week claimed the postponement would cost $1.9 billion (£1.4 billion/€1.6 billion).

According to Reuters, Tokyo 2020 have now suggested the figure is higher at $2.8 billion (£2 billion/€2.3 billion).

The figure was revealed at a three-party meeting with representatives of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will reportedly pay $1.1 billion (£820 million/€900 million), with Organising Committee contributing $1 billion (£740 million/€820 million).

The remaining $700 million (£520 million/€575 million) would be covered by the Japanese Government.

"In cooperation with the IOC and other relevant organisations, Tokyo 2020 will continue to work to minimise and reduce the additional costs of the Games, other than those related to countermeasures against COVID-19 infection," Tokyo 2020 said.

"Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan will each take responsibility for certain of the costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the agreement.

"In the event Tokyo 2020 is not able to cover any of the costs allocated to it by means of revenue growth, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will bear those costs.

"From among the additional budgeted areas, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the government of Japan shall in principle each be allocated an amount equivalent to one-half of the costs incurred as a result of COVID-19 countermeasures, in accordance with the interim summary published at the Coordination Meeting.

"However, the cost of the inspection system for athletes, etc. and of the Infectious Disease Control Centre being established by the Organising Committee will be covered in full by the Government of Japan, as it will serve as the central function for infectious disease control at the Games as well as supporting the border control measures being implemented by the Government.

"In addition, the Government of Japan will implement other measures in alignment with the basic policy approved by the Cabinet in November 2015 with the aim of ensuring the smooth preparation and operation of the Games."

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto claimed their share would be covered by a contingency fund detailed in last year’s budget, additional sponsorship and insurance, according to Reuters.

Tokyo 2020 was set to cost around $13 billion (£9.7 billion/€10.8 billion) before it was postponed in March.

Of this, the Organising Committee was due to cover $5.8 billion (£4.4 billion/€4.8 billion), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government $5.7 billion (£4.3 billion/€4.8 billion) and the Japanese Government the remaining $1.4 billion (£1 billion/€1.2 billion) In May, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach predicted the postponement of Tokyo 2020 would cost the governing body $800 million (£601 million/€669 million).

With $150 million (£113 million/€125 million) of this figure set to form an "aid package" for the Olympic Movement, the remainder was put aside for the organisation of the Games.

The IOC has reportedly waived any further additional royalties accrued by new sponsorship deals, which have been secured by Tokyo 2020.

Tokyo 2020 and the IOC announced 50 cost-cutting measures since the postponement, which they claim will save $288 million (£217 million/€241 million).

These include a cut to the number of officials attending the Games, infrastructure reforms that will reduce the amount of lighting and additional temporary power supplies for venues, and the elimination of ceremonies at the Athletes' Village and prior to the Opening Ceremony.

Tokyo 2020 will reportedly spend $960 million (£720 million/€801 million) on COVID-19 countermeasures.

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Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics reportedly estimate the postponement of the Games is set to cost an additional $1.9 billion (£1.4 billion/€1.6 billion).

Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese Government will determine next month how much of the additional cost each will take on, Kyodo News reports.

The Games were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Olympics now scheduled for July 23 to August 8 and the Paralympics set to be held from August 24 to September 5.

Additional costs have surfaced from expenses related to securing venues, equipment rental, storage fees, and extra labour.

In May, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach predicted the postponement of Tokyo 2020 would cost the governing body $800 million (£601 million/€669 million).

With $150 million (£113 million/€125 million) of this figure set to form an "aid package" for the Olympic Movement, the remainder was put aside for the organisation of the Games.

Since then, Tokyo 2020 and the IOC have announced 50 cost-cutting measures which are claimed to save $288 million (£217 million/€241 million).

These include a cut to the number of officials attending the Games, infrastructure reforms that will reduce the amount of lighting and additional temporary power supplies for venues, and the elimination of ceremonies at the Athletes' Village and prior to the Opening Ceremony.

The simplification measures have been dubbed the "Tokyo Model" by Tokyo 2020 and the IOC, with suggestions future host countries can learn from the cost-cutting steps.

Tokyo 2020 was set to cost around $13 billion (£9.7 billion/€10.8 billion) before it was postponed in March.

Of this, the Organising Committee was due to cover $5.8 billion (£4.4 billion/€4.8 billion), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government $5.7 billion (£4.3 billion/€4.8 billion) and the Japanese Government the remaining $1.4 billion (£1 billion/€1.2 billion)

Organisers are continuing to devise coronavirus countermeasures to ensure the Games can take place safely next year.

The wearing of face masks and social distancing is expected to be mandatory, while athletes will be encouraged to limit their stay in Japan after competition.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshirō Mutō has said measures for fans, including non-Japanese residents, would be drawn up by the spring, with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike revealing her hopes of holding the Games with "full spectators present".

Hopes of a successful staging of the Games have been boosted by progress in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, although it may still be some time before they are available to the wider public.

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