Japan is considering requiring negative Covid-19 test results or vaccination records from fans attending the Tokyo Olympics, the Yomiuri newspaper has reported according to Reuters, as a new poll showed public opposition to the Games remains strong.
With the opening of the Games less than two months away, public confidence has been shaken by a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and a slow vaccination rollout.
Foreign spectators have already been banned and game organisers are expected to make a decision next month on whether Japanese fans will be able to attend and, if so, under what conditions.
In addition to other coronavirus measures like banning loud cheering and high-fives, the Yomiuri said the government was considering whether spectators should be required to show a negative test result taken within a week of attending an Olympic event.
The report was met with outrage among some social media users, with thousands of tweets criticising the country’s continued push to host the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. The term “negative test certificate” was trending on Twitter in Japan, garnering over 8,000 tweets on Monday morning.
In a poll published by the Nikkei paper on Monday, over 60% of respondents were in favour of cancelling or delaying the Games, a result in line with previous polls by other media outlets.
Hello and welcome to today’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Livingstone.
Japan is considering requiring negative test results or vaccination records from fans attending the Tokyo Olympics, the Yomiuri newspaper has reported, as a new poll showed public opposition to the Games remains strong.
The UK’s prime minister, Boris Johnson, has told Canadian broadcaster CBC he wants an upcoming Group of Seven summit to reach agreement on Covid-19 vaccine passports and to open talks on a “world treaty” to prepare for future pandemics.
And Victoria has confirmed 11 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, including four relating to aged care homes, bringing the total number of active cases in the Australian state, to 54. You can follow our live coverage on the Victorian lockdown here.
Here’s a roundup of what’s been happening over the weekend:
- In the UK, ministers will adopt a cautious approach in deciding whether to ease lockdown on June 21, with hospitals already under pressure and health experts warning against “charging ahead”. Scientists have warned ministers that a third wave of coronavirus may have already begun in Britain, casting doubt on plans in England to lift all lockdown restrictions in three weeks’ time.
- A health expert affiliated with the World Health Organization has called on the US to share any intelligence it has about the origins of the coronavirus outbreak with the WHO and the scientific community.
- Authorities in Vietnam have detected a new coronavirus variant that is a combination of the Covid variants first identified in India and the UK and spreads quickly by air, the health minister has said.
- Egypt will lift restrictions it imposed earlier this month to curb the spread the coronavirus, including early closure of shops and restaurants, from June 1, the cabinet said.
- South Africa has extended its nightly curfew and limited the number of people at gatherings to slow the spread of Covid-19 as positive cases surge, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
- Only 1% of the 1.3 billion vaccines injected around the world have been administered in Africa – and that comparative percentage has been declining in recent weeks. It is a stark figure that underlines just how serious a problem global vaccine inequity has become. But the answer for the developing world is not as simple as delivering more vaccines.
- Italy has extended an entry ban for people coming from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as a continued precaution against the more transmissible Indian variant. The ban, which does not apply to Italian citizens, was introduced in late April and was due to expire on Sunday. It was prolonged until 21 June.
- Kenya has extended its nightly curfew by 60 days to slow the spread of Covid-19, the interior ministry said.