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Olympic organizers add restrictions for marathon and media

Six weeks out from the start of the Summer Olympics, organizers are adding more restrictions to assure the people of Japan the games will be safe.

Facing a continuing effort to stop the games, some more restrictions have been announced focusing on Olympic marathon events and the media.

The men's and women's marathons will be held in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo. They hosted a half-marathon there last month as a test event for the upcoming games. All participants were screened on their health status in the week leading up to the event and spectators were discouraged. That will also be the plan when the long distance events take place during the Olympics.

And concern over just who might spread the virus goes beyond the athletes and officials. Olympic organizers now say they plan to closely monitor media covering the games. The president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee announced on Tuesday that the media will be monitored by GPS to ensure they do not leave pre-registered areas such as hotels and sports venues.

This as Japan is still struggling to contain a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. But there is some good news. New infections in Tokyo are down to around 500 cases a day from one thousand a month ago. The number of hospitalizations and the seriously ill have also decreased, but the levels are still higher than last fall when Covid-19 variants were not prevalent in Japan.

As of Monday, less than 4 percent of the Japanese population had been fully vaccinated. A big part of the plan for a safe Olympics is to have as many of those involved vaccinated. Organizers say they plan to start inoculations for Olympic officials by the middle of June. Vaccinations for Japanese athletes kicked off on June 1st.

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NBC News

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