World Athletics has frozen its Olympic qualifying window in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Olympic qualifying window has been suspended until the start of December, meaning any results achieved between now and then will not count towards either Tokyo 2020 places or world rankings.
Many athletes have already qualified for the Olympics, given the qualification period began on either January 1st or May 1st of 2019 depending on the event.
Should the pandemic allow, the qualification period will resume at the start of December and end up being four months longer in total than had been planned before the postponement of Tokyo 2020 until next summer.
World Athletics said the decision was made following consultations with its Council and Athletes' Commission, as well as the Presidents of its six Area Associations.
Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, said he was "grateful for the detailed work and feedback from our Athletes' Commission and Council who believe suspending Olympic qualification during this period gives more certainty for athlete planning and preparation and is the best way to address fairness in what is expected to be the uneven delivery of competition opportunities across the globe for athletes given the challenges of international travel and government border restrictions."
However, given some events taking place before December have not yet been cancelled, such as the European Athletics Championships, there has been some criticism over the suspension from those who feel it would be unfair on any athlete who meets the Olympic standard at a time when results do not count towards qualification.
With the exception of the marathon and 50 kilometres race walk, for which the deadline is May 31 next year, June 29 in 2021 will be the final date where results can count towards Olympic qualification.