Athletes to compulsorily wear masks, barred from using public transport without permission: Tokyo 2021 organisers

Tokyo 2021 organisers unveiled a "playbook" on Wednesday with details about the COVID-19 measures that would be taken during the Olympic Games later this year

The 2020 Games were postponed last year due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Tokyo Olympics organisers said on Wednesday athletes and officials should not use public transport without permission, and asked them to wear face masks at "all times" during the event, except when eating or sleeping. They also asked fans not to sing or chant to support athletes.

The organizers unveiled a "playbook" detailing COVID-19 measures that will be taken during the Summer Games this year. Officials said they must make a decision on the number of overall spectators that would be allowed by Spring.

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Pierre Ducrey, the International Olympic Committee's games operations director, told a joint press briefing that the games would be a "different experience".

An official for the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee said it was important to ensure that the local medical system and the Olympics were both sustainable.

Delegations and staff will be required to appoint a COVID-19 liaison officer, who will be responsible for ensuring the participants follow the guidelines. The playbook also advises against shopping at the airport upon arrivals in Japan.

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Japan has been hit less severely by the pandemic than many other advanced economies. But a recent surge in cases forced it to close its borders to non-resident foreigners and declare a state of emergency in some parts of the country.

There are public fears that an influx of athletes will spread the virus, and polls show a majority of Japanese residents oppose the Games taking place this year.