Japan Sports Agency provides guidelines for sport under COVID-19
COVID-19 has a high impact on the sports community in Japan: Not only the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed until 2021, also professional and amateur sports competitions have been canceled or postponed.
The team of IAKS Japan gives an insight on what is the current status as of 20 May for the use of sports and leisure facilities in her country.
The Japanese government declared a state of emergency on the 7th of April for seven prefectures including Tokyo. The state of emergency was extended to all 47 prefectures on the 16th of April. A months later, 39 prefectures are no longer in the state of emergency, but eight prefectures including Tokyo remain under restrictions at least until the 21st of May.
During the state of emergency, indoor and outdoor sports facilities and swimming pools are generally closed. Exercise is permitted outside without clear limitations, however, social distancing and covering mouth and nose are recommended.
In prefectures with eased emergency state, each prefecture or city has their own rules. In support of the local rules, the Japan Sports Agency has also provided a list of guidelines.
A park in Yokohama during the state of emergency. The beach is closed with red covers marking the areas which are prohibited. People are walking and biking at appropriate social distance and having covered their mouth and nose.
photo: Yoshiko Osamura
These guidelines include for example:
Checking health condition of users before using the facilities.
Controlling the number of people.
Washing hands and applying the rules of social distancing.
Limitations on using gym and sports equipment, using own equipment is recommended.
Frequent sanitizing and good ventilation of facilities.
Facilities are only for local citizens, visitors from other cities are not allowed.
Covering mouth and nose, especially when talking to other people, for example in changing rooms
It is recommended to be careful when exercising and wearing high quality masks such as N95 while practicing since very fine filtration increases the risk of labored breathing leading to oxygen starvation.
During the past few months, the awareness for sports and health in everyday lives has increased. Parks and open spaces in almost every city all over Japan are very well used, mostly by people walking or doing individual sports, which shows the importance of parks and open spaces for the citizens to maintain good health.