Tokyo Olympic organizers unveiled Wednesday tough new fan rules, including a ban on alcohol and autographs, at the pandemic-delayed Games that kicks off next month.
Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto warned festivities "will have to be suppressed" to keep the Games safe, and conceded that organizers will need to be "creative" to stoke a party atmosphere.
The Games chiefs decided on Monday to allow up to 10,000 spectators into competition venues, but Hashimoto warned them not to expect the kind of festival mood currently being enjoyed by football fans at Euro 2020.
"In Europe, the venues are filled with celebration," she said.
"Unfortunately, we may not be able to do the same."
Spectators will need to clear several antivirus requirements, including temperature checks and mask-wearing, just to get into venues – with no refunds available for those who can't.
Once inside, they are forbidden from cheering or "making direct contact with other spectators" and will be asked to go straight home after the events end.
Asking athletes for autographs or "expressing verbal support" is also a no-no, as is waving a towel or "any form of cheering that could create a crowd."
"The festive mood will have to be suppressed – that has become a major challenge," Hashimoto told reporters.
"People can feel joy in their hearts, but they can't be loud and they have to avoid crowds," she added.
"Those are the areas where we need to be creative, and we are putting in a lot of effort to come up with a new way of celebrating."
Spectators will also have to do without alcohol, even though it is allowed at other sporting events currently being held in Japan.
Hashimoto said the ban was decided "to alleviate the concerns of the public as much as possible."
Japanese government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said it was "important that the guidelines are implemented appropriately" so that fans could "enjoy the Games in a safe and secure manner".
With the July 23 opening ceremony nearing, organizers are scrambling to finalize preparations and win over a skeptical public, pledging the Games will be safe for locals and participants.
Organizers have already begun arriving, including International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates, who accompanied Hashimoto on a tour of the Games' gymnastics venue Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, former athlete Hashimoto said a stripped-back Games was a chance to refocus attention on the "true values" of the Olympics.
"In recent years when I was participating as an athlete, there were concerns that this (event) has become so huge," she said.
"This time, I feel that the true values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are finally being discussed."
It may not be a line that convinces everyone, with athletes facing restrictions including daily testing and a ban on travel except between venues and the Olympic Village.
Domestic opposition to the Games has softened in recent weeks, but around half of Japan's public still don't want the event to open in four weeks' time, polls show.
On Saturday, a Ugandan Olympic coach tested positive on arrival in Japan, despite the team reportedly being vaccinated and testing negative before travel.
The rest of the delegation has now been put in quarantine until July 3.
The frantic pace of preparations may have taken its toll on Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who has been admitted to the hospital suffering from exhaustion.
Addressing fears of a fun-free Games, Hashimoto said hoped the Olympics would showcase Japan's "culture of hospitality and caring about each other."
"I hope such spirit of caring about each other, will become the legacy of the Games."