New Japan Pro Wrestling issued the following press release announcing their new event policy to help prevent COVID transmission at their upcoming events:
New Japan Pro-Wrestling holds the safety of its wrestlers, staff and fans as its upmost priority.
As NJPW heads to a return to action, we, in conjunction with the Japanese Sports Association and Japanese Para-Sports Association have drawn up the first edition of our Event Policy, which will be adhered to in all forthcoming NJPW events.
Policies & Countermeasures regarding COVID-19 for wrestling events (first edition)
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (henceforth “NJPW”) holds the safety of spectators, wrestlers and staff involved in event production as a top priority. This policy, which is based on the “infection prevention & control guideline for sport events” announced by Japan Sports
the Association and Japanese Para-Sports Association on May 14 , 2020, and also with the help of Japan Sports Agency, summarizes countermeasures against COVID-19 for pro-wrestling events in Japan.
“Event” mentioned here indicates a wrestling event with fans. But in case of an event with no fans, we will follow a guideline written on “4. Infection prevention measures in an event” below.
2. When holding events
When planning events, NJPW will adhere to the policies held by the prefecture in which said event will take place. If events are allowed, NJPW will confirm the event policy of said prefecture and discuss the policy with venues before events are booked. After negotiating with the venue, NJPW will consider the style of the event (e.g. holding an event without fans, limiting attendance, etc.), cancel or postpone the event. In addition, when we hold an event, in the case of a state of emergency being declared in a prospective prefecture, the following actions will be taken.
(1) Prefectures under states of special caution or emergency
-In principle, NJPW will not hold an event with general spectators.
(2) Prefectures not under special caution
-The below measures will be taken.
3. Regarding healthcare for wrestlers
(1) Infection control for wrestlers
– Wrestlers will stay mindful of reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 through actions at an event, in training, and in everyday life.
– Wrestlers will take their temperature twice daily on waking up and before going to bed.
Temperatures and times taken will be logged and maintained.
– Wrestlers will record the date, place, and people who were in physical contact as much detail as possible when taking unavoidable actions which would be a risk of infection.
– If a wrestler experiences any symptoms that might possibly suggest COVID-19, he will promptly quarantine himself. Symptom information and detailed contact information will be relayed to NJPW trainers.
(2) Infection prevention measures taken by trainers
– In addition to regular wrestler care, trainers will consult every wrestler in respect to COVID-19, monitor each wrestler’s physical state and record the results of said monitoring.
– If any wrestler presents with a possible symptom of C
OVID-19 , trainers will immediately tell that individual and everyone who has been in physical contact with them to immediately self-isolate. This information will be promptly reported to NJPW’s Medical Affairs Committee and instructions on additional measures will be provided.
– Trainers will use every opportunity such as when training or in the venue (including travel time) to encourage wrestlers to follow this policy.
4. Regarding infection prevention measures in an event
(1) Measures for wrestlers, staff, and press members
– We will minimize the number of wrestlers, staff and press members in event venues. Time in the venue will also be minimized. The following measures will be taken on entry. 1 Pre-screening (those who meet any of the following symptoms within two weeks prior to the event are not allowed to participate the event)
– a continuing fever of 37.5°C.
– Cold symptoms such as cough, sore throat, etc.
– Sense of fatigue and/or shortness of breath.
– Smell and taste abnormality.
– Sluggishness or fatigue.
– Coming into contact with a person who infected with COVID-19.
– Having a family member or someone who in a close relationship who is potentially infected.
– Anyone coming from countries or regions under immigration restrictions by order of the Japanese or that requires a period of observation in past 14 days, or anyone that has had physical contact with residents of those areas.
2 When at the venue
– Make a legal declaration that they are complying with this policy (including the list of pre-screening described above).
– Wear a mask that completely covers one’s mouth and nose.
– Consent to a temperature check (body temperature must be below 37.5).
– Disinfect hands with alcohol spray, etc.
– Submit one’s name, home address and contact details.
– Record the time of visit.
3Regarding actions at the venue (Measures below must be taken unless under extraordinary circumstances)
– Leave the venue as soon as achieving one’s objectives of visiting.
– Wash and disinfect hands with alcohol frequently.
– Wear a mask.
– Limit conversation and physical contact with other visitors to a minimum. If conversation is unavoidable, visitors must maintain a 2 meter distance.
– Be conscious of infection control in their activities.
4 When leaving or after leaving
– Hands must be disinfected on leaving, and time of departure recorded.
– If there is a change in physical condition that can apply to the “pre-screening” described above within two weeks after leaving the venue, it must be reported promptly.
(2) Measures regarding different venues
In principle, if there are already rules set by the venue, events shall be run accordingly. If there is a significant difference between this policy and that of the venue, our measures for infection prevention will be decided after discussion with the venue.
Venue areas will be divided into the following sections:
– Open area (place in front of the entrance)
– Aisle (including aisle near entrance and exit doors and food sales area) – Audience seats
– Merchandise booth area
– Smoking area
– Authorized personnel only restricted area – Dressing room for wrestlers
– Ring and area around the ring
2 General measures for all areas
– Secure and maintain distance from others
– Wear a mask.
– Deploy hand sanitizers.
– Regularly disinfect of areas where can be touched by multiple people.
– Increase ventilation as much as possible (Opening the doors and windows, and using the ventilating fans set in the venue).
– Limit conversations (including loud cheers) to a minimum.
3 Measurements taken for open areas
– Doors will open earlier, making the entry and leaving time longer so that the open area will not be crowded with visitors.
– When it is necessary to form a queue, distance between visitors will be maintained.
– Signage will remind visitors to wear masks and limit a conversations to a minimum.
4 Measures taken for aisles (including aisle near the entrance and exit door)
– As many entrance doors as possible will be opened and more receptions than usual will be set to facilitate the reception process, including ticket confirmation at open time.
– The same measures shall be taken for exit doors. Limited attendance will also prevent overcrowding.
5 Measures taken for audience seats
– Distance between spectators will be larger, with the maximum number of spectators roughly under a half of the full capacity in the venue.
6 Merchandise shops area
– As a general rule, events which wrestlers and fans can make physical contact, such as autograph sessions and meet and greets, will not take place.
– When selling merchandise, care will be taken not to make the shopping area crowded with visitors in a confined space by planning out the places for setting the booths (including the outside booths), products and check-out counters.
– We will recommend purchases by credit card to reduce cash exchange.
– A transparent shield will be set between the customers and staff to prevent droplet transmission.
– NJPW will cease merchandise sales if crowding occurs.
7 Smoking areas
– Smoking areas will not be set up. Smoking areas already in venues will be closed, ashtrays removed and doors locked.
– Signage will remind people to wash hands.
– Bathroom dryers in venues will not be operational. We will recommend attendees use a handkerchief or hand towel.
9 Authorized personnel only restricted area
– Hand sanitizers will be set near the boundary of the area.
– Signage will remind people to disinfect their hands and wear masks.
– In the event of interviewers and/or interviewees being unable to maintain appropriate distance, interviews with wrestlers will be cancelled or limited to NJPW’s official interviewer.
10 Dressing rooms for wrestlers
– Rooms will be zoned to keep a certain distance between wrestlers, or if this is not possible, entry time will be scheduled and restricted.
– In addition to using ventilating fans, doors and windows will be opened where possible. – Curtains and partitions to protect certain areas will not reduce ventilation if at all possible.
– All foods and beverages will have the purchaser’s name written on. Wrestlers and staff will keep their food and beverages with them at all times.
– When the company serves food, we will provide all food in individually packed containers (NJPW will not use ‘buffet’ style catering).
11 Ring and an area around the ring
– To keep the distance between the wrestlers, spectators and people concerned, the distance between the fence outside the ring and audience seats must be at least 2 meters. – Cleaning and disinfection must be done constantly using the break times between matches.
(3) Measures taken for spectators
We will ask spectators for their cooperation with following measures before the event. If they are unable to cooperate with us, action will be taken that may include being removed from the venue.
1Request for cooperation before entering the venue
If the following matters apply to a spectator, we will not allow them to enter the venue
– When one experiences the symptoms which are mentioned in the list of “pre-screening” above within two weeks prior to the event (in principle, if he/she has already purchased a ticket, we will provide a refund).
– When we cannot get cooperation from a spectator with respect to this policy.
2 Request for cooperation at the time of visit
– In the case of entering with a paper ticket, we will ask a spectator to write their home address, name, contact details, etc. on the back of the ticket (please do so in advance to prevent crowding).
– In the case of entering with an E-ticket, we will ask a spectator to submit a form with the seat number in addition to the above information. (again, please do so in advance).
– Wear a mask that completely covers the mouth and nose.
– Consent to a temperature check (Thermometers brought by a spectator can also be used). – Disinfect their hands with alcohol.
3 Request for cooperation in the venue
At the venue, we request cooperation with measures below. if NJPW judges that the act of a spectator jeopardize the safety of people in the venue, such as not being able to cooperate with us running an event in accordance with this policy, they will be asked to leave the venue (in principle, refunds will not be granted after entry to the venue, even if matches have not yet started)
– Hand washing and disinfection with alcohol must be done frequently (we recommend all spectators to bring hand sanitizer or disinfectant sheets, etc. if possible).
– All visitors in the venue must wear a mask.
– No loud cheers.
– No intentional physical contact with wrestlers is allowed.
– Conversations and physical contact with other visitors must be limited to a minimum.
– Be conscious of infection control in the venue.
4Request for cooperation after leaving the venue
– Hand disinfection must be done when leaving the venue.
– If COVID-19 symptoms present themselves within two weeks after an event, please promptly report this information to NJPW.