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virus plan Plans for daily Covid testing and close contact protocols for Tokyo Olympics unveiled 


The Olympic Rings logo outside the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan

The Olympic Rings logo outside the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan

The Olympic Rings logo outside the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan

ALL athletes attending the rescheduled Olympics and Paralympics will be tested daily for Covid-19.

Even though Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency the five organisations involved in staging the Games have reiterated their commitment to go ahead with the rescheduled programme.

However, participants will face a plethora of new restrictions while a decision on whether spectators will be allowed attend has been postponed until next month. Overseas spectators have already been banned.

The International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo Organising Committee, the Japanese government, the International Paralympic Committee, and the Tokyo regional government today unveiled the second version of the ‘playbook’, which outline the rules participants at the Games must adhere to.

The daily Covid-19 tests for athletes and all those with close proximity to competitors will ‘minimise the risk of undetected positive cases that could transmit the virus’ according to a statement.

The rules in the second version of the ‘playbook’ are far more stringent than the first version which suggested that athletes would be tested for Covid-19 every four days.

All participants at the Games will also be required to take two COVID-19 tests before they fly to Japan, while officials, coaches and the media will be tested daily for three days after their arrival in Japan.

Organisers have also issued further guidance on what will be defined as ‘close contacts’ at the Games.

Those who have ‘prolonged contact (for 15 minutes or more) with a person who has a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, within one metre, without wearing a face mask’ will be deemed close contacts.

"This is particularly applicable when such contact happens in enclosed spaces such as hotel rooms or vehicles," the joint statement said.

"Cases will be confirmed by the Japanese health authorities."

Athletes who come into close contact with a positive COVID-19 case will only be cleared to compete once they themselves have registered a negative test.

Participants will also only be able to eat in designated areas, such as their hotel restaurant, venues and their room, during the entirety of the Games.

Organisers said the playbook has been ‘significantly updated in order to address the emergence of new mutant coronavirus strains and the evolving situation of the pandemic’.

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"We are confident that compliance with these regulations will ensure the safety and security of athletes, Games officials and spectators, as well as the people of Tokyo, other host locations and Japan," said the statement.

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