Tokyo 2020 organisers ban alcoholic beverages at venues

The decision has been taken to prevent the spread of infections, says Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organising Committee president Seiko Hashimoto (right) and CEO Toshiro Muto at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. - AP

With 30 days to go until the start of an Olympic Games dogged by the coronavirus pandemic and by controversy, Tokyo Olympics organisers decided on Wednesday against selling alcohol at venues.

Media reports that organisers were considering allowing alcohol consumption in Olympics venues provoked a public outcry earlier this week, with the hashtag "cancel the Olympic Games" garnering tens of thousands of tweets.

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"Following experts' advice, the organising committee decided against selling and drinking alcohol drinks at the venues so as to prevent spread of infections," Tokyo Olympics president Seiko Hashimoto told reporters, adding that sponsor Asahi Breweries agreed with the decision to ban alcohol sales.

Alcohol sales have been restricted in and around Tokyo after health officials warned drinking would encourage close contact, loud speaking, and mingling in bars that could help spread the virus.

No high-fives

Spectators at the Tokyo Olympics will be advised not to give each other high-fives or talk loudly during the Games under guidelines released by organisers on Wednesday to lower the risk of coronavirus infections.

The Tokyo Olympic organising committee also said it would announce the results of a lottery on July 6 to whittle down the number of spectators after limits were imposed.

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