Tokyo Olympics : Organizing committee staff returns to work from office

The end of Japan’s state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic marks a new beginning on the road to the Tokyo Olympics next summer. After two months of working from home, Tokyo 2020 staff began returning to the office this week.

“Precautions are in order but it feels good to be back,” Tokyo 2020 International Communications Senior Manager Tristan Lavier said on Twitter.

He added that the “new normal” means that the open space in the office can’t exceed 50 percent capacity, so for now employees are coming in on a rotational basis. Masks, handwashing and social distancing remain an integral part of the plan.

Employees have been told to wash their hands regularly and observe social distancing rules.

Thermal cameras and alcohol-based hand sanitiser have also been installed in the lobby of the headquarters to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

New early and late working shifts have been created to “allow employees to avoid rush hour in public transportation”, the spokesperson added.

Japan’s National Training Center and the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences also opened on Monday for the first time since early April.

The Japan Times reports that athletes are the only ones allowed into the training headquarters so far but their coaches are expected to be able to join them as restrictions are eased.

Swimmers, sport shooters and table tennis players were among the athletes taking advantage of the reopening on Monday.

According to the newspaper, Japan’s Olympic table tennis players are scheduled to start training camp on or after June 19. The government is expected to lift its request to voluntarily limit travel between Japan’s prefectures on that date.