Athletes have been told to limit their stay at the Tokyo 2020 Athletes' Village during the Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Athletes at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have been asked to arrive between five and seven days before their event and depart no later than two days after they have competed under period of stay guidelines approved by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

In a statement following the latest meeting of its Governing Board, the IPC said the aim of the guidelines is to "minimise the number of residents in the Paralympic Village at any one time to lessen the risks of COVID-19 exposure".

It has told National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) that they will "need to adapt their arrival and departure policies" to ensure they meet the criteria.

Some period of stay exceptions will be considered subject to certain sport specific criteria, the IPC said.

The IPC's guidelines are similar to those of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which confirmed last week that athletes expected to arrive at the Athletes’ Village five days prior to their competition at Tokyo 2020 and depart a maximum of two days afterwards.

The IPC guidelines are almost identical to those announced by the IOC last week ©Getty Images
The IPC guidelines are almost identical to those announced by the IOC last week ©Getty Images

Athletes are also likely to be told to remain in the Village and will be encouraged not to go out sightseeing while in the Japanese capital as part of efforts to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19.

Critics have claimed the rules will detract from the athletes' Olympic and Paralympic experience, but there has also been an acceptance that such rules needed to be in place because of the global health situation.

"I cannot put into words the monumental effort that is being undertaken in unique circumstances by Tokyo 2020, the IOC, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japanese Government and the IPC to ensure the Games go ahead in a safe and secure manner next year," said IPC President Andrew Parsons.

"When the Games do happen, they will be truly historic and a fantastic celebration of humanity.

“A lot of work is going on behind the scenes right now and we will be in a position to share further information with all Games stakeholders in early 2021. 

"For now, all our efforts are going into ensuring the health and safety of all Games stakeholders, starting with the athletes."