COVID-19 Countermeasure guidelines for Olympic Torch Relay


The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today announced guidelines covering COVID-19 countermeasures that will be implemented during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which will start from Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday 25 March 2021. The guidelines have been formulated to ensure protection for all those who participate in, support and watch the Olympic Torch Relay, as well as local residents. These include the countermeasures outlined below, which will be based on the COVID-19 infection status in the individual prefectures where the Olympic Torch Relay will be held and are therefore subject to change.

The full set of guidelines is provided via the Tokyo 2020 website.

For all latest information on the OTR route, status and location please Olympic Torch Relay page.

Please keep in mind that every Olympic Torch Relay has to operate with countermeasures and contingency plans for many possible reasons - from traffic congestion to extreme weather conditions, so minor changes to the route and timetable of the OTR are to be expected during the long journey of the Olympic Flame around Japan.


  • Dates: The Olympic Torch Relay will run from Thursday 25 March 2021 to Friday 23 July 2021
  • Note: There is no change in the schedule that was previously announced.


  • Details of the format of the Olympic Torch Relay in individual prefectures may change in line with their prevailing COVID-19 infection status.
  • Specifically, following consultation between individual prefectural task forces and Olympic Torch Relay partners, measures may be taken such as suspension of the Olympic Torch Relay on public roads and/or the hosting of only a Torch lighting ceremony with no spectators (other than those directly participating in or supporting the event) at celebration venues.
  • Multiple prefectures that are planning to vary the format of the Olympic Torch Relay and which have consecutive Relay running dates will be grouped together, with details announced and updated when they are confirmed.
  • Where it is necessary to adjust the format of the Relay, Tokyo 2020 will request the appropriate prefectural task force(s) to ensure that details are well publicised in advance. For all latest information on the OTR route, status and location please visit the Olympic Torch Relay page.

COVID-19 Countermeasures

To help protect local residents, spectators, torchbearers, staff, and all others involved in the Olympic Torch Relay, Tokyo 2020 will ensure the following COVID-19 countermeasures are implemented in order to realize a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay:

General countermeasures

  • Avoidance of the “3Cs” (closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings)
  • Prevention of the spread of droplets by encouraging mask wearing and avoiding contact with others
  • Thorough sterilization and disinfection
  • Health management and monitoring
  • Thorough communication
  • Operations staff on long-term assignments will undergo testing on a regular basis
  • Compilation of a response plan in case participants or attendees feel unwell or test positive for COVID-19

Spectator countermeasures

  • Roadside spectators will be advised in advance, via websites, social media, public relations materials and public information boards, to observe infection countermeasures such as avoiding crowding along the roadside, not watching the relay from the roadside if they feel unwell, wearing masks, and not shouting or cheering, etc. OTR operation staff will actively remind them of these measures as much as possible on the day.
  • Admission of Ceremony visitors to be controlled, in principle by requiring advance booking so that numbers can be monitored.

Ceremonies are events which celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Flame at the final arrival point on each day of the Olympic Torch Relay. Departure Celebrations and Mini Celebrations are ceremonies that will be hosted in each relay segment.

For more details of specific countermeasures that will be implemented for those viewing at Torch Relay route roadsides and ceremonies, including Celebrations, Departure Celebrations and Mini Celebrations, please refer to the attached guidelines.

Please refer to the detailed guidelines which set out basic measures designed to ensure the safety and security of all participants in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, including spectators, torchbearers, operations staff, and local residents, and as well as the appropriate responses if someone is unwell or taken ill.