Olympic Games 2020: the Olympic torch relay in the presence of the public, with distance and without shouting

Social distancing will however be de rigueur and cheering strictly prohibited. So many measures that will be in force throughout the Olympics and this in order to limit the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. “The infection situation will vary from region to region, we must take this into account and it will be very important to have a meticulous approach,” the new chair of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee told reporters. , Seiko Hashimoto.

“We want to gain understanding from people in every region and connect the whole country under the concept of the Torch Relay + Hope Lights Our Way +”.

The relay will depart from a symbolic site in Fukushima, highlighting Tokyo 2020’s role as the “Reconstruction Olympics”, a tribute to rehabilitation efforts ten years after the earthquake, deadly tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011 in the north -est of Japan.

But the relay will be a much more subdued event than usual and the public will be encouraged to follow it online. Spectators will be allowed to watch the flame go by, however, but will be required to wear masks, avoid crowds and only attend certain segments of the relay near their homes. “They should support with applause or using things handed out rather than shouting or cheering,” the guidelines warn, adding that social distancing is needed. “Individual segments of the relay will be suspended if there is a risk of congestion.”

Celebratory events with live performances and exhibition booths will take place at the end of each national relay day, but the organizing committee has said it will require spectator candidates to make reservations in advance. , in principle, to enter the premises.

The information concerning the bearers of the flame, who will be in total no less than 10,000, will only be communicated at the last minute, further specify the directives.

“We are not trying to discourage people” but “the most important thing is to avoid having congested areas,” said Teruhiko Okada, executive director of the torch relay office.

The torchbearers may run without a mask provided they keep a sufficient distance from the others. Runners and staff participating in the relay must keep accurate medical records within two weeks of their participation and are asked to avoid risky activities, including eating out or going to crowded places.

But organizers say the relay will not automatically be stopped if a runner who has participated then tests positive.

The relay must go through the 47 prefectures of Japan and cross 827 municipalities, but some are opposed to it. Tatsuya Maruyama, governor of the sparsely populated Shimane Prefecture in western Japan, hardly affected by the pandemic and opposed to holding the Games, warned he could cancel the event if the coronavirus situation does not occur. ‘not improve. Ten prefectures are in a state of emergency due to the Covid-19. Many could see this one being lifted in the coming days.

Japan has officially registered 428,500 cases of Covid-19 and 7,647 deaths.

The flame arrived in Japan on March 20, 2020 from Olympia in Greece. Four days later, the Games were postponed for a year due to Covid-19.

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