IOC publishes first ‘Playbook’ for Tokyo 2021

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The international Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (Tokyo 2020), have published first out of four ‘Playbooks’, which aim to ensure safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer

The series of Playbooks aim to provide a framework of basic principles for participants to follow this summer. These ‘Playbooks’ outline the responsibilities of stakeholders before traveling to Japan, when entering the country, during the Games and when leaving the Games. 

According to the IOC, these “Playbooks are the basis of our game plan to ensure that all Olympic and Paralympic Games participants and the people of Japan stay safe and healthy this summer.” 

Christophe Dubi, the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director said: “The health and safety of everyone at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are our top priority. We each have our part to play. That’s why these Playbooks have been created – with the rules that will make each and every one of us a sound, safe and active contributor to the Games.” 

He continued: “By committing to following the Playbooks we will be stronger together. In return, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be remembered as a historic moment for humanity, the Olympic Movement and all those contributing to their success.”

The first Playbook published is aimed at the International Federations. This will be followed by the Playbook for athletes and officials, then press and lastly the broadcasters. 

IOC stated that these are just first versions, which include “many of the standard and commonly accepted key health countermeasures currently being implemented around the globe relating to personal hygiene, testing and tracing.” 

“They draw upon the lessons learned from the successful measures being implemented in the successful resumption of thousands of international sports events across the world.” 

Credit: olympic.org

Test, Trace and Isolate 

The Playbook ‑ perhaps rightfully so ‑ places a big importance on the ‘Test, Trace and Isolate’ procedures, before, during and after travels to Tokyo. Similarly, to many countries around the globe, all individuals travelling to Japan would be required to have a negative Covid test, 72 hours prior to their departure time. After arriving, additional testing might take place (depending on the place the person has arrived from), and unspecified ‘restrictions’ for the first 14 days will be implemented for everyone, although they will vary in specific Playbooks. 

Social and Hygiene

Individuals are advised to keep their contact list up to date, move swiftly through the airport, keep their distance of a minimum one meter, not to use public transport and avoid hugs, high‑fives and handshakes. These rules, however, do include Paralympic consideration and bending of certain rules for people in need of an assistance.

Moreover, individuals are advised to support athletes by clapping, rather than singing or chanting.

The IOC also said that athletes and team officials will be “subjected to strict control measures to ensure their safety. This will include limiting the amount of time athletes and support staff stay in the Village, restrictions on socialising outside the Village, their movement between official Games venues.”

According to the Playbook “non-respect of the rules may expose you to consequences [and] repeated or serious failures to comply with these rules may result in the withdrawal of your accreditation and right to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games”.


As voiced before by the IOC, no individual will be required to be vaccinated in order to participate in the Games. The IOC “strongly support the priority of vaccinating vulnerable groups, nurses, medical doctors and everyone who is keeping our societies safe”. 

However, it continues to say that if the vaccine becomes available to broader public, the IOC calls for individuals to get vaccinated, given the role of athletes is “to promote sport as a contributor to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities”.

Feature image: SportsPro Media

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Film, Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Sports editor @ Brig Newspaper. Bylines in Edinburgh Evening Times and the SPA National Magazine.

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