Tokyo, Feb 26, (dpa/GNA) – The Olympic torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Games will kick off in Japan’s Fukushima on March 25 with social distancing measures, organizers said on Thursday.
People are encouraged to watch the relay online and organizers are asking roadside spectators to wear masks and not to shout or cheer to curb the potential spread of the coronavirus.
The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee unveiled the measures that apply to the 121-day relay, which will start at the J-Village football training center near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the site of Japan’s worst nuclear accident 10 years ago.
The guidelines « have been formulated to ensure protection for all those who participate in, support and watch the Olympic Torch Relay, as well as local residents, » the organizers said in a statement.
The Olympic flame will be carried in turns by about 10,000 torchbearers across the nation’s 47 prefectures.
The Games are due to start on July 23.
A total of 10 prefectures, including Tokyo and its surrounding regions, have been under a state of emergency since early January due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections.
The government is expected to lift the measures in some prefectures soon.
About 80 per cent of the Japanese public said the postponed Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics should be cancelled or rescheduled as the pandemic continues, according to the latest surveys.