The Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) on Friday announced that the Olympic Games, slated for Tokyo, Japan, will take between July and August place as planned, despite ongoing concerns around the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Olympics, which were initially set to take place last year, were postponed to this year due to the coronavirus, which had crippled all sport activities worldwide. The games will now take place from 23 July until 8 August.
Briefing the media on the latest developments around the Olympics on Friday, NNOC president Abner Xoagub said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been in constant communication with national Olympic committees and international federations providing updates on the Covid-19 situation and surety that the games will take place this year as planned.
“The main thrust of the IOC approach toward ensuring that these games can be held safely has been based on a number of Covid-19 countermeasures revolving around regular information, country access, personal protective equipment, testing, tracing and vaccination. All information relating to these Covid-19 countermeasures is being documented in the first version of a “Playbook” that will be shared with the national Olympic committees and international federations ahead of a Chefs de Mission briefing to be conducted jointly with Tokyo 2020 in February,” Xoagub said.
“This Playbook will serve as an essential reference document for the planning of any Covid-19 affected operations in Tokyo and we will regularly update over the coming months to ensure all necessary information and requirements are available to you the media as they are confirmed,” said Xoagub.
He also said vaccination of athletes participating in the upcoming games will not be mandatory, but said athletes will be encouraged to take the vaccine as that will increase the safety of the games and those of the participants.
“Vaccination will not be mandatory for participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. However, the vaccination of the maximum number of participants will contribute to increasing the safety of the games. Our sincere hope is that a large number of game participants will have the opportunity to be vaccinated in their home countries before travelling to Japan. At the same time, the IOC is fully supportive of the fact that most vulnerable sections of society and health care workers need to be first in line.”