Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics must eat alone, be tested daily, and refrain from talking in confined spaces such as elevators under tough new Covid rules announced by organisers on Tuesday.
The 11,000 competitors at the Games, along with support staff and media, have also been told they cannot speak to a driver in an official vehicle – and will face the threat of fines, disqualification, medals being taken away and even deportation for repeated or “malicious” offences.
Organisers also said they are considering a six-day hard quarantine for athletes and media coming from the 10 countries where the growth of the Delta variant is significant. However it is understood that the British Olympic Association and the International Olympic Committee are hopeful that such drastic action will not be required when athletes arrive in around a month’s time.
On whether people coming from red list countries, such as the UK, would require six days in hard quarantine, a Tokyo Games spokesperson said: “Quarantine for six days is required for some countries where the same treatment will be imposed on athletes and media. We wanted to make sure we have a countermeasure with variants.
“Now the Japanese government and the IOC and International Paralympic Committee [IPC] are currently in ongoing discussions about what our countermeasures will be during the Games. Our perspective is that we have to make it absolutely a safe Games because they will come to Japan to compete, and we want to make sure the process is not too impactful for them performing. So these are the things that we are looking at.”
However, organisers have confirmed that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will not be disqualified and that they will still pick up a medal if they are entitled to one at the time.
A BOA spokesperson said: “We continue to have positive dialogue with the IOC and the Tokyo Organising Committee, following our letter to the President of Tokyo 2020. Our approach to additional testing measures and vaccinations for the delegation prior to departure and upon arrival demonstrate we are doing everything possible to minimise any risk to the people of Japan.”