— Published 5 February 2021

Media will need to reserve their seats

The organisers of the Tokyo Games are continuing their duty of providing information. They have published the second of four playbooks for the use of future participants. The first concerned international federations and technical officials. The second details the health measures intended for media representatives, excluding rights holders. Broadly speaking, it incorporates the principles set out in the first document, in particular on hygiene measures (wearing a mask, social distancing), the obligation to provide daily information on one’s state of health during the 14 days preceding the trip to Japan, and regular testing once there. As a bonus, the “playbook” intended for the press explains that the capacity of the media areas, including the rooms and press stands, will be halved on average. However, the guide states, Japanese organisers have no plans to reduce the number of journalists accredited to the Games. As a result, the media will be asked to reserve seats in advance in reserved areas at Olympic venues. It will therefore no longer be possible to decide at the last moment, depending on the news or the performance of an athlete, to go to a site to cover, for example, an upcoming medal. Another novelty: press conferences will be organised in virtual mode, and accessible via a dedicated platform. Journalists will be able to ask questions, but remotely, without direct contact with the athletes. The same operation will be put in place for the medalist’s press conferences, after the end of the events, and for the daily press briefing of the IOC and the organising committee.