Olympic fan parks turned into vaccination centres

·1-min read
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a mural featuring the mascots of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a mural featuring the mascots of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

By James Toney

Olympic organisers have scrapped plans for six fan parks in Tokyo this summer but hopes have increased for some fans to be able to attend the Games.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike met for over an hour to discuss what precautions the city could take against the coronavirus, with the opening ceremony of the Olympics now just 34 days away.

A series of mass viewing sites across the city was a key part of Tokyo 2020’s plans but those venues will now be used as Covid-19 vaccination sites, as the under-fire Japanese government plan to rapidly accelerate their lacklustre jabs rollout.

Suga, who faces a very tight election later this year, has invested much political capital in the Games going ahead, despite public opinion being overwhelming against them, though some recent polls have seen this antipathy ease.

The Japanese government’s current rules allow 10,000 people at large events, providing they do not exceed 50 percent of the venue capacity.

Oversea travellers have already been banned from attending both the Olympics and Paralympics but a final decision on crowds for the Games is expected imminently, a deadline already shifted from a planned announcement in March.

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