Committee Formed to Review Travel Restrictions for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Athletes

In September of 2020, a newly-formed panel consisting of officials from the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will meet in Japan to discuss ways to ease travel restrictions for Olympians and Paralympians. 

Staff from the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee will also be on the panel to provide input.

Currently in Japan, entry is denied to people from about 150 countries, including Rio Olympic medal-table-leaders USA, Great Britain, China, Russia, and Germany. Those who are granted entry must self-quarantine for two weeks. Japan has set their travel bans based upon countries that have been severely impacted by the virus. Because of these rules, traveling to the 2020 Olympics will be a challenge, especially if the virus is not under control by then.

About 11,000 athletes from over 200 nations and territories are expected to compete in the 2020 Games. To ensure these athletes can get to Tokyo, the new panel plans to discuss ways to lessen travel restrictions. Part of this plan may include polymerase chain reaction testing before departing and upon arriving in Japan.

As of now, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are set to run from July 23 to August 8 of 2021, followed by the Paralympics, which are scheduled for August 24 to September 5. This decision was made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

The Games are going to be simplified, with a variety of cost-cutting measures to be considered by organizers.

On August 12, Tokyo confirmed 222 new coronavirus cases. About 67 percent had unknown transmission routes. Additionally, in early August it was announced that two Tokyo 2020 staff members had received a positive test for COVID-19.


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