Tokyo 2020 holds first on-site security test to trial processes for safe Games

Thermal stickers are among the countermeasures considered, as tests continue ahead of Olympics in 2021, in light of coronavirus pandemic

By Shintaro Kano

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on Wednesday (21 October) concluded its first security test at a venue to be used for next summer’s Olympic Games.

Demonstrating the will to host a safe and secure event in 2021 against the backdrop of COVID-19, the trial of screening processes currently being considered for spectators and Games officials took place at the Tokyo Big Sight - which will house the International Broadcasting Centre and Main Press Centre during the Olympics.

Coronavirus countermeasures for the 23 July-8 August Games are being discussed by a team involving the national and Tokyo metropolitan governments, plus Tokyo 2020.

The three-way commission, which is also reviewing measures deployed at other sporting events both domestic and abroad, will produce a mid-term report in December, though the work will be far from final with the fluidity surrounding the global pandemic.

Covid-specific security measures trialled

One measure under consideration is a thermal sticker that can be taped on wrists ahead of baggage checks.

The sticker - currently available for medical use in the fight against Covid-19 - can gauge the temperature of the actual skin even through clothing.

The sticker would also allow security personnel to check for temperatures while maintaining a safe distance.

A thermal sticker is one measure being considered for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The tests have been taking place since Monday, and Iwashita Tsuyoshi, Executive Director of the Games’ security bureau, described them as being fruitful.

“We managed to compile some very useful data which will help us going forward”, Iwashita said.

“We’re still in the experimental phase regarding corona countermeasures, searching for what will be most effective.

“We need to weigh all our options before deciding on the right ones for the Games.

“We learned today how we can seamlessly screen. The challenge will be to make sure every security officer understands this”.

A security team of around 14,000 will oversee next year’s Games. Testing will move on to a venue-specific phase, with each Pedestrian Screening Area catering to on-site needs.