Tokyo urges Olympics supporters to 'pack less, wait less' following security tests

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, takes a picture of the Olympic rings in front of the National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Olympics organisers wrapped up three days of tests on Wednesday, trialling a number of security and COVID-19 countermeasures and asking supporters and officials to pack less to wait less when entering venues during the Games.

During the tests at Tokyo Big Sight, a convention centre that will host media during the postponed Games next year, organisers assessed various technologies to monitor body temperatures of spectators.

As seen at other sporting events during the global pandemic, thermology cameras and non-contact infrared thermometers were used but organisers also tested the use of 'thermometer strips'.

The strips, which were pasted onto the wrists of volunteers being used in the trial, contain heat-sensitive liquid crystals and can immediately detect if the wearer has a fever.

Another key element of the field test was checking how smoothly spectators can pass through the inspection area while other measures, such as social distancing in queues, are being enforced.

Volunteers presented security personnel with more than 40 different scenarios, including forgetting to wear a mask and trying to bring an aerosol can through security, to test their readiness for the Games.

Organisers were happy with the testing but said more trials will be needed when full COVID-19 protocols are decided.

"Pack less, wait less. We don't want to delay the excitement, so please come with very little luggage," urged Tokyo 2020 Security Director Tsuyoshi Iwashita.

"For the testing of security measures, probably this is the last one," he added.

"As for COVID-19, when we finalise the measures, we want to check these processes. To do so, we will set up further types of testing occasions."

Tokyo organisers have yet to conclude whether fans will be allowed into venues during the Olympics, which run from July 23 – Aug. 8 next year.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said organisers expect to welcome spectators from around the world at the Games.

(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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