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Team GB athletes facing six-day quarantine before Tokyo Games

Team GB athletes facing six-day quarantine before Tokyo Games
© Reuters
Organisers confirmed on Tuesday that athletes would not be exempt from the Japanese government restrictions which were imposed last week.

Team GB athletes face the prospect of six days’ hard quarantine in Tokyo under rules that risk throwing their Olympic preparations into chaos.

A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson confirmed that athletes are not exempt from the Japanese government restrictions which were imposed last week due to fears over rising cases of the Covid Delta variant in the UK.

Under the current rules, all Olympic-accredited arrivals from the country must immediately self-isolate in their official Games hotel rooms for a period of six days.

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The Olympic preparations of stars like Dina Asher-Smith could be thrown into chaos (Mike Egerton/PA)

Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya said: “Quarantine for six days is required for some countries where the same treatment will be imposed to athletes and media.”

Failure to comply with the rules risks disciplinary consequences including disqualification or even deportation under newly stringent guidelines published by the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

Officials at the British Olympic Association indicated they remain hopeful the existing restrictions will be eased when they are scheduled for revision by the Japanese government on July 1.

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.”

The IOC has consistently maintained that disruption for athletes will be kept to a minimum, and is also engaged in continuing dialogue with Japanese government officials over the implications of the official decrees.

IOC executive director Christophe Dubi said: “Those countries that are affected by the variants have also made a pledge… whereby they will take extra measures on their side.

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“If there is a problem, of course we will follow the rule as established by the authorities, but we can do more, and this is what these delegations have pledged to do.”

Athletes already face a rigid schedule of daily testing in Tokyo, and will be both accompanied by supervisors and GPS-tracked when they travel from their accommodation to Games venues.

They have been advised to socially distance as much as possible, including eating alone and avoiding any contact with members of the Japanese public, the majority of whom remain opposed to the Games taking place.

An IOC spokesman later confirmed the current six-day quarantine rule, saying: “Border control measures are the responsibility of the Japanese government.

“At the moment, there is a strict six-day quarantine in place for people arriving from red-list countries.

“Tokyo 2020 is working closely with the national government to address the current situation and mitigate any impact on participants, while ensuring safe and secure Games.

“Tokyo 2020 will communicate the outcome of these discussions to all relevant stakeholders once a final approach is agreed.”

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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