SPECTATORS at next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo may be told to keep quiet for fear of spreading coronavirus.
Some evidence suggests the pandemic can be spread by shouting or talking in crowded spaces, an area of concern for sports welcoming rowdy fans back to stadiums.
Socially distanced fans at a Japanese football game clap their team during a matchCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Measures are being put in place for the eventual start of the delayed Olympics, with July 2021 earmarked.
And Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto has refused to rule out the possibility of silencing crowds.
He told reporters: “There’s a possibility that we may ask the spectators to refrain from shouting and speaking in a loud voice.
“When we think of the impact, we believe it is an item for consideration, to reduce the risk of airborne droplets.
“But we haven’t reached a conclusion.”
Crowds have steadily returned to sporting events around the world although a second wave in Europe has ended pilot schemes in countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
The potential for a vaccine or mass-testing to be in place by the summer will be seen as cause for optimism for the Olympics.
But Tokyo organisers are not promising a return to normal for the Games, with fans arriving from abroad potentially having to quarantine before entering stadiums.
In addition, thousands of seats may go unsold to enforce social distancing despite the financial strain surrounding Tokyo’s Olympics.
Muto added: “Regarding spectators from overseas, whether they need to go through a 14-day quarantine or not, whether we can waive that or not will depend on the situation.
Whether we are going to have full capacity or not, the decision has not been made yet.
“There is a possibility this quarantine is waived if they meet certain conditions.
“The spectators’ anxiety of not knowing if they can actually go to the games or not is understandable.
“We would like to be considerate of the spectators as much as possible while we take preventive measures at the same time to be able to accommodate as many spectators as possible.
“Whether we are going to have full capacity or not, the decision has not been made yet because various experiments are taking place.”
Source: Athletics - thesun.co.uk