Athletes will be "strictly prohibited" from leaving their hotel except for competition and meals according to WKF rules ©Getty Images

World Karate Federation (WKF) has announced a series of measures to protect athletes from coronavirus during the European qualifier for this year’s rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

French capital Paris is due to stage the event - the last qualification opportunity for Tokyo 2020 - from June 11 to 13.

But no fans will be allowed inside the Stade Pierre de Coubertin to watch the action as a result of the pandemic.

A "sanitary bubble" has been set up by organisers, with athletes "strictly prohibited" from leaving their hotel except for competition and meals.

Under the COVID-19 protocols, athletes and coaches must undergo antigen testing on the day of competition.

The French Karate Federation (FKF) is set to provide a compulsory daily transport service from the Hotel Ibis Styles Issy-les-Moulineaux to the venue.

Hotel Mercure Paris Boulogne and Hotel Radisson Blu Paris Boulogne - which will also be used during the event - are said to be walking distance to Stade Pierre de Coubertin.

Once inside the venue, athletes will be expected to use a certified mask, known as FFP2, at all times except while warming up, training and competing.

The WKF held its first international event in more than a year when Istanbul in Turkey staged a leg of the Karate-1 Premier League circuit last month.

WKF President Antonio Espinós said he was optimistic the qualification event would be a "huge success".

Participants will be asked to wear a certified mask when inside the venue ©WKF
Participants will be asked to wear a certified mask when inside the venue ©WKF

"I would like to take the opportunity to send my warmest regards to the heroes of our sport who will fight for glory at the event," said Espinós.

"Whether you qualify for Tokyo 2020 or not, you all are part of one of the greatest events in the history of our sport and your accomplishments on the tatami will always remain in our memory.

"As one of the biggest hubs of our sport and one of the cities where karate is most appreciated, Paris will be the perfect stage for an exceptional competition.

"Our quest to this tournament has been long and strenuous, with many setbacks along the way, but I am convinced that the event will be a huge success."

FKF President Francis Didier added: "We are proud to host this last competition before the Games, eight years after the 2012 World Championships, and we will do our best to make it as successful as this prestigious event."

The top three athletes in each category of the men’s and women’s kata and kumite competition will obtain a quota place for Tokyo 2020.

France recently became the eighth country in the world to register more than 100,000 deaths from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

The milestone comes with France still in a partial lockdown in a bid to curb rising coronavirus cases and increase the pace of the vaccination rollout.

For the full document outlining the COVID-19 protocols, click here.