Tokyo 2020 Organisers Ban Alcohol, Defends Allowing Spectators

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers decided on Wednesday against selling alcohol at venues amid the coronavirus pandemic, while also defending plans to allow thousands of spectators with 30 days left until the start of the Olympic Games.

Organisers have pushed ahead with preparations for the Games, postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic, despite strong concerns among the Japanese public that hosting delegations from across the globe could result in further COVID-19 outbreaks.

“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.

Tokyo 2020 organisers ban alcohol sales at venues

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. Earlier, Hashimoto defended the organisers’ decision to allow spectators into Olympic venues.

Japanese medical experts have said banning spectators was the least risky option, but also included recommendations on how best to host the Games if spectators were admitted.

Organisers said on Monday up to 10,000 domestic spectators would be allowed into venues. Foreign visitors are banned.

“We decided that it would be better to do the best preparations we can for a Games with spectators,” Hashimoto said at a media roundtable, saying the decision was in line with the medical experts’ recommendations.

“Of course, I understand that holding the event without spectators would lower the risk, but there is evidence that there have been no clusters at other events and tournaments.”

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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