UPDATE: As COVID-19 cases continued to rise, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency on Thursday, July 8. The Olympic games will continue, but no spectators will be allowed to attend events. Only athletes, trainers, and members of the media will now be allowed to attend Olympic events in Toyko.
After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics games are set to take place this summer, but they will look very different because of COVID-19. Many people in Japan opposed hosting the Olympic Games this year. They were concerned about the potential spread of COVID-19 from international visitors.
In recent months, medical organizations requested that the Olympic Games be cancelled. COVID-19 infections had surged, clogging hospitals. The roll-out of vaccines in Japan has also been slow. But Japan’s Olympic Minster said the Olympic Games would be held in 2021 “at any cost.” The World Health Organization has met with the Olympic Committee to discuss the risk. Infection rates have started to fall. Still, specific measures are being put in place to ensure that the games run smoothly—and that people stay healthy.
To prevent the transmission of COVID-19, no international fans are allowed to attend the Games. The Olympic Committee does plan to allow guests from Japan into the games. Other than the athletes themselves, only international visitors with essential roles such as members of the media and athletic trainers are able to enter stadiums and other Olympic sites.
Athletes in the Olympics will need to follow specific rules, such as getting regular COVID-19 testing, social distancing, and following strict mask mandates. These rules are required at events and even when athletes aren’t competing.
Millions of people are around the world have received the COVID-19 vaccine. That has allowed sporting events and other events with large crowds to happen. But not all countries agree that their athletes should receive vaccines. They want to first vaccinate people at risk, such as elderly people. The International Olympic Committee has encouraged countries to vaccinate all their athletes before the start of the games.
What Do You Think? Do you think it’s important for the Olympics to be held this summer? Why or why not?
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