The torch relay is a traditionally historic event that takes place before the Olympics. But like everything else related to these upcoming games, the rally is being altered due to COVID-19. Members of the Tokyo Organizing Committee are asking spectators not to cheer during the torch relay ceremony as part of a new series of COVID-19 protocols.
Instead, the committee is pleading with everyone on hand to clap.
"No shouting, no cheering. Please cheer by clapping your hands and maintain appropriate distance in case there is crowding," vice director Yukihiko Nunomura said on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
The torch relay is set to take place on March 25 in Fukushima and will travel throughout Japan leading up to the Olympic opening ceremonies on July 23. In the two weeks prior to their participation in carrying the torch, each torchbearer is being asked to "refrain from activities that may involve a risk of COVID-19 infection, such as eating out or going to crowded places."
The torchbearers are also being asked to submit a daily health checklist to make sure no one comes down with COVID-19 symptoms.
Japan began offering vaccines to the public earlier in February as they attempt to get as many citizens as possible vaccinated before the Olympics begin. The 2020 Olympics were postponed until July 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.