Thomas Bach will not travel to accept the Seoul Peace Prize ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is to receive the Seoul Peace Prize remotely after deciding against travelling to the South Korean capital to accept the award because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for the IOC confirmed Bach would not attend tomorrow's ceremony in person and would instead take part virtually.

Bach had been due to travel to Seoul to accept the prize, which he was awarded for his role in staging the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

Pyeongchang 2018 saw South Korea and North Korea march together in the Opening Ceremony, while the two countries, still technically at war, also combined to form a joint women's ice hockey team.

"Because of the deteriorating situation in Switzerland and Europe, which makes travelling even more difficult, the IOC President, together with the IOC and the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation, has decided that his participation in the award ceremony on Monday would be virtual," the IOC spokesperson said.

The IOC President was named the winner of the Seoul Peace Prize in September ©IOC
The IOC President was named the winner of the Seoul Peace Prize in September ©IOC

The visit to Seoul to accept the award - established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 1988 Olympics in the South Korean capital of Seoul, celebrating the harmony and friendship of competition - was set to be Bach's longest trip since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Typically Bach is a frequent international traveller, but restrictions imposed across the world have forced him to conduct business remotely over the past seven months.

The IOC President is planning a trip to Tokyo next month to meet new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga but no dates have been confirmed.

He has not been able to visit the Japanese capital to inspect preparations for the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games since the coronavirus pandemic ground international travel to a halt, but World Athletics President Sebastian Coe went to Tokyo earlier this month.

Bach's last trip was a short visit to Imola to attend the International Cycling Union Road World Championships last month.