Japan considers asking Olympic fans for negative COVID tests, vaccinations

REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan is considering requiring fans attending the Tokyo Olympics to show negative COVID-19 test results or vaccination records, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Monday, as a new poll showed public opposition to the Games remained strong.

Japan extended on Friday a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas to June 20, and with the opening of the Games less than two months away, public confidence has been shaken by a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and a slow vaccination rollout.

Foreign spectators have already been banned and organizers are expected to make a decision next month on whether Japanese fans will be able to attend the Games, set to run between July 23 and Aug. 8., and under what conditions.

In addition to other measures like banning loud cheering and high-fives, the Yomiuri said the government was considering whether spectators should be required to show a negative test result taken within a week of attending an Olympic event.

The government’s top spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters on Monday he was unaware of any decision on the issue.

“In order to make the Games a success it’s necessary to take into account the feelings of the people,” Kato said, adding that organizers were preparing to ensure measures were in place to stage the event safely.

The Games have already been postponed once due to the pandemic but the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee have said the event will go ahead under strict COVID-safe rules.

Reuters

 

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