Tokyo Olympics President Seiko Hashimoto confirmed on Tuesday that all foreign journalists covering the Games will be under permanent surveillance via GPS to ensure they remain within permitted zones under Covid restrictions.
The proposed Covid countermeasures were outlined in Hashimoto’s opening remarks prior to a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting, with the restrictions imposed on foreign journalists to prevent the spread of the virus while Japan battles a fourth wave of the pandemic.
The tracking technology will be used to ensure that reporters remain within the restricted Olympic zone or face having their passes revoked for a breach of the strict Covid restrictions.
“To make sure that people don’t go to places other than the places where they are registered to go, we will use GPS to strictly manage their behavior,” Hashimoto said in a statement.
Tokyo 2020 has already imposed a limit on the accommodation that can be used by the around 6,000 foreign journalists expected to cover the Olympics, reducing locations from the planned 350 to just 150.
While it’s not clear if athletes will face the same type of tracking, they are expected to be placed under tight restrictions, which will include daily testing to ensure they are not infected with and spreading the virus.
Excluding permitted athletes and officials attending the Olympics, the Japanese prime minister announced on February 9 that foreign nations would be prevented from entering the country, with border restrictions imposed to prevent the import of new strains of the pandemic that could speed up the spread of the virus.
Ten prefectures across Japan, including Tokyo, are all currently under emergency Covid restrictions until at least June 20, with the Olympics due to start days later.
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