Other Sports: Olympic alcohol plans draw criticism from parched Tokyo residents


TOKYO (Reuters) – Olympic organisers will allow the sale of alcohol to Tokyo 2020 spectators, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday, drawing criticism as residents of the capital grapple with curbs on bars to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Alcohol will be served at Olympic venues at limited times, Kyodo reported, citing anonymous sources, a decision that follows the approval on Monday of up to 10,000 domestic spectators at venues at next month’s delayed Games.

The government last week downgraded the capital to a “quasi-emergency” state, which allows for drinking in small groups for short periods of time but offers limited succour to Tokyo’s beleaguered bars, restaurants and night spots.

“The biggest problem is preferential treatment: events are good but cinemas are bad. The Olympics are okay but live venues are no good,” wrote @save_the_cinema on Twitter, a campaign for emergency funding for arthouse cinemas.

Social gatherings with drinking have been a focus for government guidelines, as they are seen as driving infection by encouraging loud speaking and lingering at the bar.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey)

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