Olympics: There WILL be coronavirus cases among athletes arriving, warns committee president – Asia Despatch

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There WILL be coronavirus cases among Olympics athletes arriving, warns committee president – as he insists border controls must be strict in order to stop the spread with Tokyo Games less than a month away

There is no way there will be zero coronavirus cases among athletes arriving for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, so border controls need to be strict to stop the spread, said Japanese Olympic committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita at a news conference on Monday.

He also added that imposing restrictions such as requiring delegations from countries like India to quarantine was necessary to gain the understanding of the Japanese public.

With less than a month until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games start, more athletic delegations have been arriving in Japan. Two members of the Ugandan delegation tested positive for coronavirus. 

Sportsmail reported that some Team GB athletes are refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine ahead of the competition despite being offered fast-track jabs.

While Belgium athletes have also turned down their second coronavirus jab with up to 10 or 12 stars fearing there could be a ‘negative influence on their performance’ if they were to have final dose ahead of this summer’s Games. 

Tennis star Serena Williams became the latest star to pull out of the rearranged Olympics on Sunday. The 39-year-old admitted she didn’t want to go if she had to be separated from three-year-old daughter Olympia for the Games’ Covid bubble.

Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita warned there is no way there will be zero coronavirus cases among athletes arriving for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita warned there is no way there will be zero coronavirus cases among athletes arriving for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Two unnamed Ugandan athletes tested positive after arriving in Japan despite being fully vaccinated

Two unnamed Ugandan athletes tested positive after arriving in Japan despite being fully vaccinated

It was confirmed last week that a maximum of 10,000 spectators will be allowed at events during next month’s event — but they must wear masks and cannot cheer.

Overseas fans have already been banned from attending but a decision was taken last Monday to welcome a limited number of domestic supporters.

The cap has been set at 50 per cent of a venue’s capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people. But there will still be a subdued atmosphere as organisers have stipulated ‘masks should be worn in venues at all times’ and ‘speaking in a loud voice or shouting will be prohibited’.

Japan is moving ahead with staging the Games, despite public opposition and the warnings

Japan is moving ahead with staging the Games, despite public opposition and the warnings

It was confirmed last week that a maximum of 10,000 spectators will be allowed at events

It was confirmed last week that a maximum of 10,000 spectators will be allowed at events

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said: ‘There are so many cases, domestically and internationally, of sports events with spectators. By exercising thorough measures and based on the government criteria, we believe we can hold the Games with spectators. The entire world is facing the same issues and we have to work together to overcome them.’ 

Spectators will not have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test to enter venues and there will be a lottery of existing ticket-holders to decide who attends.

However, the spectre of a behind-closed-doors Olympics has not completely gone away, as Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga warned that having no fans was ‘definitely a possibility’ if the coronavirus situation worsens in Japan.

‘In the event a state of emergency was declared then we can’t rule out not having spectators,’ Suga told reporters during a tour of vaccination sites in Tokyo. 

Japan is moving ahead with staging the multi-billion-dollar Games, which were delayed by a year due to pandemic, despite public opposition and the warnings from health officials. 

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