August 16, 2022

Reporters’ Diary

Factual Reportage

Organisers say fans at Tokyo Olympics can clap but can’t cheer

High-fiving, autograph-hunting and towel-waving will all be off limits to spectators at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

A code of conduct was published by the local organising committee on Wednesday.

This was after it was confirmed this week that Games venues could be 50 per cent full, up to a maximum of 10,000 people.

On Monday, organisers said spectators would be asked to refrain from shouting or talking loudly, and to avoid any stop-offs on their way to or from Games venues.

Now further guidelines designed to limit the spread of coronavirus have been issued.

One section entitled “Watching the Games competition and cheering the athletes” encourages spectators to clap rather than cheer.

It also contains an image of a trumpet crossed out above the words “no noise-makers”.

They are also encouraged to bring a towel or handkerchief with them to clean their hands on, but waving that towel or other items to cheer on athletes is forbidden.

The act of high-fiving other spectators who are not family members or venue staff is not encouraged.

Spectators are told not to seek autographs or to express verbal support for athletes.

Alcohol will not be available for purchase at the venues, and nor can it be brought in, the guidance stated.

Spectators are asked to wear face coverings throughout their visit to a venue, but they are advised to bear in mind their physical condition in relation to heat stroke.

The guidelines acknowledge however that wearing a mask could increase the risk.

Other documents from the organisers set out that there were 3.63 million tickets currently owned, and that the number would have to reduce by 910,000 to 2.72 million.

A lottery is being used to bring the figure down.

Already, a decision to bar overseas spectators was taken in April.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said on Monday that dignitaries such as International Olympic Committee officials and sponsor representatives would be regarded as organisers.

They are therefore not included in the capacity limits.

Children attending events as part of the schools programme were also exempt from the limits, Muto said.

Nevertheless, he said it was unlikely the overall attendance for the opening ceremony on July 23 would be as high as 20,000, as had been reported.