CHENNAI: The local organising committee of the Tokyo Olympics has said that athletes travelling from India will be able to train even during the initial three-day period where they will have to follow stringent Covid-related restrictions after landing in Tokyo.
In a communication to The New Indian Express, they said: "(...) the letter from the Indian Olympic Association (to the International Olympic Committee) seems to indicate that their athletes will not be able to train at all for the first three days of their stay in Japan, which is not the case. So, we will make sure that we explain the actual situation to them more carefully."
In the past week, the IOA had written two letters to the IOC asking them to provide more clarity with respect to not only training but also food and dietary requirements for the athletes during the initial period.
Also, the organising committee seems to be indicating that current border protocols means the decision is out of their hands. But for athletes coming to the Games, a special dispensation has been created wherein people from India will be screened every day for up to 10 days after reaching Tokyo. This doesn't apply only to athletes but also for media as well as judges and officials flying out.
"Firstly, while current border controls stipulate that all visitors from India and those other countries must quarantine for 10 days, Games participants from those countries will be asked to minimize physical interaction for seven days with others and stay without contact from other teams for three days. For a total of 10 days in restricted bubbles, they will be required to be screened every day. This screening and minimization of contact with others, in addition to the other measures outline in the Playbooks, will reduce the risk of infection and help us deliver a safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese people," the letter stated.
They have also revealed they have been in constant communication with the Japanese government and the extra advisory that's currently applicable to 11 countries is as a result of the mutant strains of the coronavirus.
"We have discussed with the Government of Japan the situation for Games participants coming from India and other countries heavily affected by mutant strains of the coronavirus. As is currently the case with all arrivals from those countries, Games participants coming from them will need to follow more stringent procedures than participants coming from other countries; these current restrictions applying to all arrivals are also stricter than the general procedures for participants outlined in the Playbooks," they added.
Interestingly, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of six nations have given a surety to the organising committee that all their members will be fully vaccinated before landing in Tokyo.
"In addition, the IOC announced on 28 May that in order to further ensure the safety of residents of Japan, the six National Olympic Committees of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, The Maldives, and Sri Lanka informed them that they had pledged to vaccinate all members of their delegations," the IOC's communication to The New Indian Express said.