Organisers of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will this week release a ‘playbook’ of COVID–19 biosecurity protocols for athletes to ensure the postponed Games can go ahead this July.
According to The Daily Mail, athletes will be barred from leaving the Olympic Village except to compete or train – but won’t have to quarantine when they enter Japan.
Competitors will reportedly be tested before leaving their home nations and again after arriving in Japan, and then every four days during the competition.
They will also be only allowed to arrive in the Village five days before their event begins – and must leave immediately afterwards, which will put an end to the traditional partying and sightseeing for athletes who have concluded their competitive duties.
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John Coates, International Olympic Committee vice-president and chair of the Tokyo 2020 co-ordination commission, was quoted by the Daily Mail saying: “Athletes will be limited to the Olympic Village and transport to their venue for competition and training – that’s it, no going downtown.”
Under the plan, most athletes will likely be based in national team camps in Japan before entering the village.
Doubts have soared about the Games — due to start on July 23 — as the pandemic continues to paralyse many countries and with large parts of Japan, including Tokyo, under a state of emergency.
Tokyo’s first Olympic test event this year, an artistic swimming competition scheduled for March, was postponed on Thursday for two months because of travel restrictions.
But despite falling public support in Japan, the United Australia, Australia and Canada have all backed the Games, as have several top athletes.
IOC president Thomas Bach last week admitted for the first time that the Games might have to take place without fans in attendance.
“This I cannot tell you,” he replied to a question over crowds. “Our priority is to ensure safe Olympic Games.”