Tokyo Olympics 2020: Organisers plan stricter measures for torch lighting ceremony as Greece battles rising coronavirus cases

Organisers of this week’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia are planning tighter measures to protect against the coronavirus after already reducing the size of the event, a source said on Monday.

Reuters March 09, 2020 16:52:50 IST
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Organisers plan stricter measures for torch lighting ceremony as Greece battles rising coronavirus cases
  • The Olympic torch will be lit in Olympia at a scaled-down ceremony on 12 March before a seven-day relay that will culminate with a handover ceremony in Greece on 19 March

  • A source said organisers in Greece will further reduce the number of people inside the ancient stadium, with only a few dozen representatives of the Tokyo Games

  • Tokyo has stopped 340 children from attending the ceremony while Greek organisers last week banned crowds from the dress rehearsal

Athens: Organisers of this week’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia are planning tighter measures to protect against the coronavirus after already reducing the size of the event, a source said on Monday.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Organisers plan stricter measures for torch lighting ceremony as Greece battles rising coronavirus cases

The torch is set to be lit at Olympia on 12 March and will be followed by a seven-day relay. AP

The Olympic torch will be lit in Olympia at a scaled-down ceremony on 12 March before a seven-day relay that will culminate with a handover ceremony in Greece on 19 March.

A source said organisers in Greece will further reduce the number of people inside the ancient stadium, with only a few dozen representatives of the Tokyo Games from a group of about 150 allowed access to the ceremony.

Organisers will also shut the press centre following the ceremony to avoid the gathering of many people in an indoor area and will stage Wednesday’s dress rehearsal without the presence of media, the source told Reuters.

“There will also be a limit on media accreditations that have not yet been picked up,” the source said.

The prefecture of Ilia, of which Olympia is part, is among the hardest hit by the coronavirus in Greece.

Tokyo has stopped 340 children from attending the ceremony while Greek organisers last week banned crowds from the dress rehearsal.

Greece on Sunday announced a two-week ban on sporting events with spectators and on school field trips, as its number of coronavirus cases rose by seven to 73.

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