The Tokyo Games are shaping up to be an Olympics like no other — and TODAY's Savannah Guthrie is right in the middle of it.
The international sporting event has made major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic, including delaying the Games an entire year. Fans will not be present in the stands, and athletes have not been able to bring family members with them. Strict social distancing and quarantine protocols are in effect for athletes, as well as everyone else.
"They have very strict protocols here," Savannah said. "In a way it's like stepping back in time. At least for those of us in (the United States), at the height of the pandemic, we remember the washing of the hands, the mask-wearing, all of that. It's just like that here. It's really locked down here in Tokyo."
Savannah said that the protocols began before she even left the United States. International visitors to Japan have to take two coronavirus tests before they get on a plane. The first has to be taken about 96 hours before travel, the second 72 hours before.
After landing in Tokyo, visitors have to test again at the airport, and then take a daily test for the first three days in the country.
"Every day you have to submit a test, you have to submit your health status on an app," Savannah said.
A second app works as a contact tracer and informs you if you've been exposed to coronavirus.
"It's a tracking app that'll tell you whether or not you've been exposed to anybody in your vicinity who has COVID, and it's also watching you," Savannah said. "You have to install it to enter the country, so it's super strict and locked down."
Even with all of the testing, international visitors are subject to a strict two-week quarantine.
"You can't leave the hotel," Savannah said. "You can go to your workspace or you can go to the hotel. You can walk outside, 15 minutes a day, that is it."
To cope with the time spent in the hotel, TODAY's Natalie Morales started a walking club inside the hotel.
"Natalie Morales is power walking us through," Savannah said. "We went on a little walk, (and) all you do is run into people you know. It's NBC everywhere."
Savannah said that she's also been enjoying her time in the "tremendous" city.
"It's so immaculate; the stadium, the venues are gorgeous," she said. "The opening ceremony, everybody’s getting ready for that three days from now. so there’s still a lot of excitement. You do get that feeling like Tokyo threw a party and is all dressed up, but not everybody’s going to be able to come to the party."