Olympic athletes to be exempted from 14-day isolation

A man walks by posters to promote the Olympic and Paralympic games planned to start in the summer 2021, in Tokyo on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just under nine months. The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers have unwavering support from Japan’s ruling party and Tokyo’s municipal government. But there is a tiny murmur of resistance to the Olympic behemoth. A few voices in the national legislature question the wisdom of holding the Olympics in a pandemic. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

TOKYO: Athletes arriving in Tokyo for next year’s Olympic Games, postponed from 2020 because of Covid-19, will be exempt from the 14-day isolation period Japan has imposed on anyone arriving from overseas to help stop the virus from spreading.

Organisers said on Thursday details still need to be worked out, but measures for athletes are likely to include coronavirus testing within 72 hours before arriving in Japan. But they warned decisions on spectators from overseas have yet to be made, saying a 14-day quarantine was “impossible”.

“By next spring, we will be coming up with a plan for spectators, including non-Japanese spectators,” Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto said.

“It is impossible to set a 14-day quarantine period for foreign spectators, so tests before and upon arrival are needed.”