Europeans across five countries tend to think it is unlikely that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead
June 7th, 2021, Jemma Conner

Europeans across five countries tend to think it is unlikely that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead

YouGov's latest EuroTrack survey has found that a majority of people in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden think it is unlikely that the Games, postponed from 2020 due to coronavirus, will go ahead, even as the Olympic torch makes its way around the country ahead of the Opening Ceremony.

Adults in France are the most pessimistic, with 58% saying the postponed games are unlikely to go ahead.

Around a third of respondents across the five countries still think it is likely, with adults in Denmark the most optimistic (36%).

Should vaccinations be required for athletes to compete?

With Japan entering a fourth wave of the pandemic, and Tokyo in a state of emergency, the Games are looking increasingly unlikely, despite the Japanese government's insistence that they will go ahead.

A travel ban to Japan is currently in place, so only domestic spectators will be allowed into stadiums, and athletes will be tested daily, but these measures have not been enough to placate the Japanese public - recent polling in Japan has found high levels of opposition to the Games. Many cite concerns about thousands of athletes entering a country with a relatively low vaccination rate and increasing infections.

Currently there are no restrictions in place on athletes in terms of vaccination, but YouGov's polling has found that people think this should affect eligibility this year. Across the five countries polled, around half feel that vaccination should be taken into account when considering whether athletes can compete, either as a standalone measure or in conjunction with a low infection rate in the athlete's home country.

The polling finds that athletes' vaccination status is clearly a key factor in respondents' attitudes on this issue, whereas the infection rate in the athlete's home country is generally seen as less important.

Around a third of adults in Britain, France and Germany think vaccination alone is a sufficient requirement for competing athletes, this figure rises to 37% in Denmark and 39% in Sweden.

Some respondents went further, saying that athletes should only be eligible to compete if they have had the vaccine, and are from a country with low infection rates. Brits are most likely to take this view (26%), as do 15-19% of people in the other countries studied.

Adults in France and Germany are more relaxed in their attitude towards vaccinating athletes, with a quarter (25% and 27% respectively) saying that all athletes should be able to compete, regardless of either their vaccination status or the infection rate in their country. Fewer than one in six agreed with this in Britain (16%), Denmark (15%) and Sweden (17%).

See the full results here