Tokyo Olympics organizers decided not to allow the sale of alcohol at Olympic venues after it was the target of heavy gunfire for considering it as the country grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have decided to ban the sale of alcohol (at the scene of the event) as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus based on recommendations from health experts,” said Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee, at a press conference in the morning. June 23.
It will also be forbidden to bring alcohol to the competition venues.
The alcohol-free policy will be specified in the guidelines for spectators attending events.
The committee’s announcement comes after media reported that organizers were considering allowing alcohol consumption under certain conditions.
The reports sparked a storm of criticism from lawmakers in the ruling coalition and the opposition bloc, healthcare workers and social media users.
In Tokyo, bars were allowed to serve alcohol from June 21, for the first time in about two months, but under certain restrictions, as the capital still maintains numerous anti-coronavirus measures in place to combat it. COVID-19.
The committee, when considering the approval of the sale of alcohol, seemed to treat the Tokyo Games in a totally different way from other events, said Haruo Ozaki, president of the Tokyo Medical Association.
“If the Summer Games are allowed to operate with exceptions even though the public is still urged to follow various restrictions, it will become increasingly difficult to create anticipation for the Olympics,” he said. at a press conference on June 22.
Asahi Breweries Ltd., an official sponsor who has the right to sell its drinks at Olympic venues, said on June 23 that it supports the committee’s decision regarding alcohol.
“After reports from June 22 that the organizing committee is leaning towards allowing alcohol, we suggested that it should not be sold,” the company said. “We consider the committee’s alcohol policy to be only natural, given that restrictions are placed on bars and restaurants to serve alcohol to combat the coronavirus.”