As travel restrictions tighten with the coronavirus, will the marathon still go ahead?
As travel restrictions tighten due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, runners all over the world will be questioning whether or not the 2020 Tokyo Marathon will be cancelled. As a World Marathon Majors event, it’s unlikely it would be called off completely, but here is the news so far.
Will the 2020 Tokyo Marathon be cancelled?
On 31 January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global health emergency concerning the coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, China. On 6 February, the Japanese Government put a travel ban in place, preventing anyone who has travelled to Hubei Province in China within 14 days before arriving to Japan, or foreigners who have a Chinese passport issued by Hubei Province entering the country. The Tokyo Marathon organisers warned those who would need to travel through China to get to the race that they could defer their entry to the Tokyo Marathon until 2021. Runners who choose to defer their entry will have to pay the entry fee again in order to run the race in 2021.
At present, runners who haven’t travelled to China, but choose not to travel to Tokyo, will not be given the same option to defer their race entry.
Will there be special health measures in place?
The organisers of Tokyo Marathon have announced there will be preventative measures at the Tokyo Marathon to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. A statement on the Tokyo Marathon website explains that there will be alcohol-based hand sanitiser at the EXPO, packet pick-up, volunteer check-in and at venues in the finish area. Surgical masks will also be distributed at the packet pick-up and finish line. The Marathon Organisers have also said there will be an “operational revision of aid-stations”.
In a statement on their website, race organisers said, “Please pay careful attention to your own health, and the decision whether to participate in the event is a personal choice and one each individual must consider carefully. We would like to request the cooperation from all participants to monitor the body temperature, and if you have a fever or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, we advise you to refrain from participating in the event.”