CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP via Getty Images
SEOUL, South Korea – Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics abruptly overturned a decision, announced the day before, to sell alcohol at Olympic venues, following the critical medical experts and ordinary Japanese.
The games are expected to start in a month, despite calls for their cancellation, due to the pandemic.
Organizers described the move as an anti-virus measure. A weekend survey by Kyodo News Agency revealed that 86% of those polled believed games would spread the coronavirus. But organizers also appear to be responding to accusations of preferential treatment from Olympic athletes and sponsors.
“Are the Olympics an exception, having for so long imposed a burden of anti-infective measures on restaurateurs?” Haruo Ozaki, president of the Tokyo Medical Association, asked at a recent press conference.
Tokyo is currently under restrictions that limit alcohol consumption to groups of no more than two people, up to 90 minutes between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., in bars and restaurants certified to take appropriate anti-infective measures. .
The organization’s chief Seiko Hashimoto said on Monday that alcohol sales were took into consideration, but only on condition that drinkers refrain from congregating or shouting at the scene.
There were also criticisms that the decision to sell alcohol was driven by commercial interests, especially those of Olympic sponsors, such as Asahi Group Holdings, which has the exclusive rights to sell beer at the games.
Organizers announced on Monday that the number of spectators at all Olympic events would be limited to 50% of the capacity of the venues, up to a maximum of 10,000 people. Foreign spectators have already been banned. A decision on participation in the Paralympic Games will be taken on July 16e.
In another reversal, organizers announced on Sunday that they would not distribute condoms to the athletes of the Olympic Village, as has been the case since the Seoul Games in 1988.
The gesture, intended to promote awareness of HIV / AIDS and safer sex, drew criticism that organizers were distributing condoms, but not masks. As a result, the organizers will distribute the condoms to the athletes after the games, when they leave the country.