Tokyo Olympics: Japan to require COVID-19 tests for athletes

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

Ambaresh S

28th September 2020

Japan is planning to conduct coronavirus tests for foreign athletes when they arrive in the country for next year's delayed Olympic Games. The draft of measures to be followed was released recently by the organizers. Foreign athletes will be required to take the tests on arrival and departure.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 to be conducted with or without COVID-19 vaccine (Source:

According to the measures mentioned in a report by Times of India, which are still being discussed, the test is mandatory for Japanese athletes and other participants living in Japan. Although the foreign athletes and other participants will not have to undergo a two-week quarantine period, tests will be conducted on arrival and departure, as per the plan.

As per Sportsar’s report, the organizers plan to restrict the travel of the athletes within the country itself. They will be limited to places such as towns hosting national delegations and training centers. As for the testing for the COVID-19 virus, members of the panel confirmed during their second meeting that athletes wanting to enter Japan must be tested within 72 hours before their departure time, along with a formal submission of their negative test results.

The pandemic, which has infected more than 31.3 million people and killed about 964,000 throughout the world, has raised hard questions about the viability of next year's Games, even as new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has underlined their importance.

Japan managed to control the attack of coronavirus, with roughly 80,000 infected and about 1,500 deaths. Other nations, like the United States, India, and Brazil, suffered as a result of not being able to control the virus efficiently.

The hard part lies in convincing the sponsors to keep their billions of dollars on board in the midst of economic devastation and clouds of doubts on staging next year's Tokyo Olympics in a pandemic.

To discuss the viability of conducting the event, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach will meet a number of Japanese government and city officials, local organizers, and other top IOC leaders to convince them that the Tokyo Olympics will begin on 23rd July 2021.

Bach and IOC Vice President John Coates, who are looking into Tokyo preparations, are expected to join remotely to Japanese officials as they meet on Thursday and Friday, reported the Reuters. The agenda for the meeting will cover plotting countermeasures against COVID-19. These countermeasures include quarantines, rules and regulations for athletes travelling to the country, testing, vaccines, and the presence or absence of fans. Only a few firm details are expected until late in the year or early in 2021, which adds further to the uncertainty prevailing.

(Sources: Sportstar, Reuters, Times of India, InsideSport)

Edited by Satvik Pandey

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