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Tokyo Olympics: Fans will be encouraged to have coronavirus vaccinations, says IOC chief Thomas Bach

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Former Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), bump elbows in Tokyo
Former Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), bump elbows in Tokyo   -   Copyright  Credit: AP photos
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If you are thinking of going to the Tokyo Olympics next year then you must be ready to be inoculated against COVID-19, according to the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Thomas Bach says he's optimistic the Tokyo games next year will be a spectator event and that visitors and athletes will need to be vaccinated.

Bach said participants and visitors would need to carry out protective measures before heading to the Olympics.

Japan has so far recorded around 1,900 deaths linked to coronavirus.

The IOC chief has been holding talks with Japan's Prime Minister Yoshida Suga, their first meeting since the Games were postponed nearly eight months ago.

Bach will also meet several other politicians to persuade them and the public that it's safe to hold the Olympics during a pandemic.

“In order to protect the Japanese people and out of respect for the Japanese people, the IOC will undertake great effort so that as many (people) as possible — Olympic participants and visitors will arrive here (with a) vaccine, if by then a vaccine is available,” Bach said after talks with Suga.

The Tokyo Olympics were due to take place last summer but were postponed in March because of coronavirus.

They are set to take place in July and August next year.