Tokyo 2020 Ticket Refunds To Be Issued For Buyers Who Can’t Make Olympic Games in 2021

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The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee will issue Tokyo 2020 ticket refunds to people unable to attend the Games due to their one-year postponement, according to sources speaking to Kyodo News today.

To date, about 4.48 million tickets for the Olympics and some almost 1 million tickets for the Paralympics have been sold through the official ticketing website. The Games were to have opened this month, on July 24 but the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic shunted the world’s biggest multi-sport event  into next year.

The Olympics Opening is now scheduled for July 23, 2021, prompting the use of “Tokyo 202One” among athletes working to be there after organisers announced that the Games will still be known as Tokyo 2020. The Paralympics are scheduled to start on August 24, 2021.

In principle, any Tokyo 2020 ticket bought is valid for next summer’s games, but sources now tell Kyodo that “consideration will be given to spectators who are unable to attend the Games as a result of the delay”.

One thorny issue has been securing the use and rights of all venues that had been signed up for July and August 2020 but not 2021. Kyodo reports today that organisers are close to securing all venues originally planned for 2020.

Japan Considers Travel Easing For Olympic Athletes in 2021 if Pandemic Still With Us

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Tokyo 202One – Photo Courtesy: Tokyo 2020

Japan is considering easing travel restrictions for overseas athletes for the Games next year even if the world is still in pandemic mode, Kyodo has been told. There is a long journey ahead and a day, a week, let alone a month and a year is a long time in the development of the coronavirus emergency.

The news of Tokyo 2020 ticket refunds coincided with a rise in the daily coronavirus infections rate in Tokyo. It topped 220 today, a single-day record in the pandemic, official figures showed. The Japanese capital has been trying to stem a rebound in infections since a nationwide state of emergency was lifted in late May. The previous one-day high for infection rates was 206, recorded back on April 17.

Tokyo 2020 Ticket Refunds Just One Item On Countermeasures Agenda

Tokyo 2020 organisers with their eye on all such developments, have already indicated that they are considering a number of options. There was commitment yesterday to proposals to simply the  Paralympics. The Olympics, too, may face measures that recognise the health and financial struggle that the pandemic has delivered.

Games organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed last month to hold a “simplified” Olympics to ensure the safety of all involved and alleviate the worst impact of the inevitable financial hit.

The matter of Tokyo 2020 ticket refunds is not only on the table to be reasonable to those who cannot make it in 2021: if spectator numbers have to be limited or, in some cases, cut out all together, refunds would have to be a part of any such decision.

Among matters being discussed beyond limiting spectators (or even having none at all) are: limits on media because every other seat will not be occupied; adjusting spectator seating to spread the crowd, athletes stands and media; cutting out the close physical contact of the traditional mixed zone when athlete and media mingle; holding Zoom-style remote press conferences and post-race interviews in order to maintain physical distancing; and controlling numbers at catering and retail outlets.

In terms of the actual competition, proposals dod not yet include scaling back the 11,000 athletes expected at Tokyo 2020 by reducing programs. Kyodo reports that the economic division at the National Security Secretariat, a coordination unit for Japan’s diplomatic and security policies, is overseeing discussion over sustainable numbers and what would have to be placed on the table, including cutting out whole events, to achieve a “safe” Games.

The issue is due to be discussed at a September meeting of officials of the central government, Games organisers and the Tokyo metropolitan government, the central point on the agenda “coronavirus countermeasures”.

As things stand, Japan is adding to its travel bans due to the pandemic: last week, it added another 18 countries, including Algeria, Cuba and Iraq, to its entry ban list last week, raising the total number of countries and regions subject to the measure to 129. That amounts to more than half of all nations scheduled to take part in the Games.

 

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