ATHENS, March 9 (Reuters) - Organisers of this week’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia are planning tighter measures to protect against the coronavirus after already reducing the size of the event, a source said on Monday.
The Olympic torch will be lit in Olympia at a scaled-down ceremony on March 12 before a seven-day relay that will culminate with a handover ceremony in Greece on March 19.
A source said organisers in Greece will further reduce the number of people inside the ancient stadium, with only a few dozen representatives of the Tokyo Games from a group of about 150 allowed access to the ceremony.
Organisers will also shut the press centre following the ceremony to avoid the gathering of many people in an indoor area and will stage Wednesday’s dress rehearsal without the presence of media, the source told Reuters.
“There will also be a limit on media accreditations that have not yet been picked up,” the source said.
The prefecture of Ilia, of which Olympia is part, is among the hardest hit by the coronavirus in Greece.
Tokyo has stopped 340 children from attending the ceremony while Greek organisers last week banned crowds from the dress rehearsal.
Greece on Sunday announced a two-week ban on sporting events with spectators and on school field trips, as its number of coronavirus cases rose by seven to 73. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)