Olympic athletes could face strict controls on movement and repeated coronavirus tests under measures discussed Wednesday by a task force charged with finding ways to safely hold the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.With less than a year until the Olympics, organizers and Japanese officials met for the second time with a long list of possible requirements on the agenda.Athletes may have to submit a detailed plan of their activities in advance — and pledge to follow it — or save their whereabouts on a “map app”, according to documents prepared for the meeting. They may also be required to undergo frequent coronavirus testing — including three days before leaving home, another on arrival, and others during their stay.They will, however, be allowed to train during any quarantine.”Tests are one of the most important issues from the two perspectives of securing safety and a sense of security for athletes,” Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto told a press conference.”We’d like to create a system, or mechanism, to continue testing when they enter Japan.” But, Muto said, ensuring the reliability of pre-departure testing in every country — and guaranteeing the accuracy even of high-precision PCR tests — will be a challenge.Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games mascots Miraitowa (2nd L) and Someity (2nd R) ride on a boat during a parade in front of spectators with karate practitioner Kiyo Shimizu (L) and para athlete Hajimu Ashida (R) in Tokyo on July 22, 2018. Japanese organisers formally introduced their doe-eyed 2020 Olympic mascots to the world on July 22, christening them with superhero names that could provide a tongue-twisting challenge to some.(AFP/Toshifumi Kitamura )’Cautious optimism’ The 2020 Games were postponed in a historic decision earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and are now set to open on July 23 next year.Other restrictions floated in Wednesday’s meeting included athletes avoiding public transport where possible and also introducing social-distancing “pedestrian traffic lanes” in venues and Olympic villages.Common spaces such as lobbies, lounges and traditional hot spring baths might also be closed to reduce social contact.When asked how the rules would be enforced, Muto said it depended on which restrictions were chosen.The postponement of the Games has caused all manner of logistical headaches, forcing the renegotiation of contracts with venues and hotels, and efforts to keep sponsors on board for another year.Topics :
RelatedPosts Serena pulls out of Italian Open Serena heads to French Open with time running out for number 24 Serena dumped out of US Open Serena Williams won her first title in three years and first since becoming a mother with victory over Jessica Pegula at the Auckland Classic, the BBC reports. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion beat her fellow American 6-3 6-4. It is the 38-year-old’s first singles title since she won the Australian Open in 2017 and her 73rd WTA title overall. Williams, in her fourth decade on the WTA Tour, lost the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 2018 and 2019 and retired from the 2019 Rogers Cup final. She said after her victory that she would donate her prize money in Auckland and a dress she had worn to the Australian bushfire appeal. “It feels good. It’s been a long time, I think you could see the relief on my face,” said Williams. “I have been playing for so long and been through so much and I’m happy to be doing something I love.” The Australian Open begins on 20 January, with Williams bidding to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.Tags: Auckland ClassicAustralian OpenBBCJessica PegulaSerena WilliamsWTA Tour
DES MOINES — The legal age for buying nicotine-infused merchandise — including cigarettes and “vaping” products — would jump from 18 to 21 under a bill that has cleared its first hurdle in the Iowa Senate.Senate President Charles Schneider of West Des Moines is the Republican who’s sponsoring the bill. “I’ve got two of the largest, if not the largest public high schools in my district and probably the largest private high school in my senate district and I’ve been hearing more and more from parents and teachers about kids in high school who are using, particularly, vape products,” Schneider said, “and that it’s becoming an epidemic.”Senator Tom Shipley, a Republican from Nodaway who also supports the move, has a daughter who teaches middle school in West Omaha.“When I told her what I was thinking about doing, she said: ‘Oh, dad, you can’t believe it,’” Shipley said. “‘It’s just pervasive through this place. It’s just everywhere and most of their parents don’t even know they’re doing it. Here at school even.’”Illinois and 10 other states have already raised the legal age for buying tobacco products. The move has the backing of the company that makes the JUUL nicotine pods as well as traditional tobacco companies.“Youth access to tobacco products primarily comes from their social access and their friends who happen to be of age, but they are not,” Jeff Boeyink, a lobbyist for the parent company of Phillip Morris, said during a senate subcommittee hearing on the bill. “Moving from 18 to 21 removes most of this access out of the high school area, which is what we are trying to target here.”The owners of the shops that sell electronic cigarettes and vaping products oppose raising the nicotine purchasing age to 21.“You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. Thirty percent of teens drink alcohol, so if raising the age to 21 to buy alcohol didn’t fix teens drinking alcohol, it’s probably not going to fix teens vaping,” said Sarah Linden, the CEO of Generation V, with shops in Council Bluffs, Davenport and five others in Nebraska.Health advocacy groups also oppose the bill. They want lawmakers to make the penalties for selling nicotine-infused products to minors tougher. They want an increase in the state’s tobacco tax and they want the state to spend more on programs that help smokers quit.“Our goal is to improve upon the current bill and we are asking to be part of the solution,” Danielle Oswald-Thole, a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, told senators.She pointed to what she called “scary” statistics, like a 2018 survey that found 23 percent of 11th graders in Iowa had used an e-cigarette in the past month.