Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have rolled out stricter coronavirus countermeasures, including a plan to test athletes daily, as they try to reassure a Japanese public made increasingly sceptical by the resurgent pandemic.
With just three months to go until the postponed Games, Japan has been encumbered by a slow-moving vaccination drive that has raised concerns about the viability of the Games.
Overseas spectators have already been ruled out and a decision on whether to allow domestic spectators will be taken in June, a few weeks before the Games begin on July 23.
Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said that while organisers wanted as many spectators as possible, they were ready to take every step needed to ensure safety.
“We are prepared to hold the Games without spectators,” she told a news conference following a meeting on the second draft of rule “playbooks” for the Olympics and Paralympics.
The organisers, which include the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government, said in a joint statement that they would “deploy all possible countermeasures and place the highest priority on safety”.