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With just 60 days to go until the start of the Tokyo Olympics, there are more questions than answers about how such a massive event will take place as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in many parts of the world.
Japan itself is struggling to contain a fourth wave, with a seven-day average of new cases briefly topping 6,000 earlier this month. Hospitals are overrun in the city of Osaka and a state of emergency has been extended in Tokyo and other areas.
The vaccine rollout, meanwhile, continues to lag behind most other major economies, with just 4% of the population having received one or two doses.
With the Olympics approaching, Japan is trying to speed up its vaccination rollout. Kyodo News/AP
The key Olympic stakeholders are all sporting a brave face, insisting they are receiving the best possible advice from Japanese health authorities and the World Health Organisation and putting in place the proper protective measures.
The games will likely go ahead, but they will be more watered down compared to the spectacles of years past. This is what a very compromised Olympics could look like.
No sightseeing or sex (though condoms are on offer)
The second version of the Tokyo 2020 Playbook was recently released, with a third draft expected by June. This spells out clearly and in great detail what is expected in terms of COVID testing and restrictions.
For example, although a vaccination will not be compulsory, everyone will be tested extensively both before and during the games. Attendees will only be permitted to eat in designated settings and allowed limited movement and social interaction in Tokyo. Sightseeing and using public transportation is strictly forbidden.
The torch relay is continuing across Japan, albeit in front of sparse crowds — and in some places, no crowds at all. KYDPL KYODO/AP
Significantly, each delegation will also have a “COVID liaison officer” to ensure all the rules are being followed, which includes keeping tabs on athletes seemingly at all times.