Tokyo puts stricter regulations for athletes, officials flying out from India
Olympic-bound athletes and support staff who will leave from India for Tokyo will be put through stricter quarantine upon arrival, according to fresh regulations issued by Japan on Friday.
Eleven nations, including India, will be under a more watchful regime during the first few days of their arrival for the Tokyo Olympics.
“The Japanese government, like many governments, has put in place specific rules for travellers from selected countries, where different variants of COVID-19 have been identified, to try and control the virus and stop the spread. The current list of such countries have been divided into two groups,” said a communication from the Tokyo organisers.
To start with, athletes and officials going from India, Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will have to get tested every day for seven days prior to their departure to Japan.
Upon reaching Tokyo, athletes travelling from these countries will not be able to “physically interact with anyone from another team, delegation or country” for three days. They will be tested everyday like all other athletes at the Games Village.
Many of India’s medal prospects are training abroad and will reach Tokyo directly from the countries they are currently training in. The shooters are training in Italy and boxers are supposed to leave for Croatia in a couple of days. Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia, and star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra are also in Europe and will travel directly to Tokyo.
Most track and field athletes, including long jumper Murali Sreeshankar, steeplechaser Avinash Sable and table tennis players, archers and rowers are among others will fly out from India.
“We received the new guidelines only today, that were not there earlier in the Playbook,” said Archery Association of India secretary Pramod Chandurkar. “We are awaiting for more clarity from the Indian Olympic Association on the matter,” he added.
For athletes coming from Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, United Kingdom and Vietnam the rules are more relaxed. They will have to be tested for three days prior to their departure, but upon arrival they too will not be allowed to physically interact or train with athletes from another country.