Swiss cancel public pavilion at Tokyo Games

Barry, the Swiss mascot, here outside the House of Switzerland at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, will not be travelling to Tokyo Keystone / Str

The Swiss government has cancelled plans for a House of Switzerland public site at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, citing current health measures in Japan and travel restrictions during the sporting events.

This content was published on April 29, 2021

“By taking this decision three months before their opening, the foreign ministry intends to safeguard the financial interests of the [government] and its private-sector partners, whose views were also considered in the risk analysis that preceded the decision,” the foreign ministry said in a statementExternal link on Thursday.

It marks the first such cancellation since Presence SwitzerlandExternal link, the foreign ministry agency that markets Switzerland abroad, took on responsibility for the site at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The House of Switzerland’s Tokyo appearance had been scheduled from July 24 to September 5.

Organisers of the Tokyo Olympics rolled out stricter coronavirus counter-measures on Wednesday, including a plan to test athletes daily, as they try to reassure a Japanese public made increasingly sceptical by the resurgent pandemic.

Spectators from overseas have already been ruled out, and a decision on whether to allow domestic spectators will be taken in June, a few weeks before the Games begin on July 23.

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