150,000 condoms to be distributed at Tokyo Olympics despite ban on hugs & socialising

The move has drawn ridicule.

Matthias Ang | February 11, 2021, 12:12 PM

Japan will distribute 150,000 condoms at the Tokyo Olympics for athletes despite the release of a 33-page document detailing social distancing rules that athletes must abide by, AFP reported.

According to organisers, athletes are urged to limit their contact with others "as much as possible" so as to minimise the risk of infection.

They also potentially face being kicked out of the games, should they break any of the social distancing rules.

However, organisers also confirmed that the condoms will be provided for free to the athletes.

Rules include no hugging and no high-fives

The move has since drawn ridicule online given that the rules include a ban on socialising, hugging and high-fives.

Several netizens on Japan Today pointed out the incongruence in providing condoms, while asking people to maintain social distance.

Screenshot from Japan Today website

In addition, athletes are restricted to official game venues, training camps and "limited additional locations", with the need for all of their movements to be logged.

They are also banned from heading to gyms, tourist areas, shops, restaurants and bars, and must seek permission to use public transport.

Banned from participating once they test positive

With regard to Covid-19 testing, athletes will be tested every four days and will be banned from competing should they have a positive result.

They will not be subjected to quarantine upon arrival however, although they must also test negative 72 hours prior to their departure to Japan, and again on arrival.

Vaccines are also recommended, although it is not a requirement for participation in the Games.

Previous Rio Olympics saw 450,000 condoms provided with outbreak of Zika virus in the backdrop

That Japan should ultimately still choose to provide condoms suggests a tacit acknowledgement of the inevitable sexual activity that takes place amongst athletes at the Games.

Previously, the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, saw a record 450,000 condoms provided to the Olympic Village, according to The Guardian.

Discussions of hosting the Games were also dominated by an outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil, resulting in at least one country, Australia, making the decision to provide their team with antiviral condoms.

Support for hosting Olympics is low among Japanese

AFP further reported that support for hosting the Games remains low in Japan, with nearly 80 per cent of Japanese supporting a cancellation or additional postponement of the event.

The Games are slated to open on July 23 later this year.

In the meantime, Japan has reported 410,870 cases of Covid-19 as of Feb. 10 and more than 6,600 deaths.

Top photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images