Tokyo 2020: Border closed to foreign athletes

Published on March 6th, 2021

With the XXXII Olympic Games less than five months away, health regulations remain in place that are preventing foreign athletes to enter Japan to train.

The Japanese government has confirmed that Tokyo will remain under heightened COVID-19 restrictions until March 21 as the state of emergency in the country’s capital has been extended for two weeks, reports InsidetheGames.

The measures in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba were due to be lifted on March 7. Similar measures in Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu, and Fukuoka prefectures were ended six days earlier than planned.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike had suggested caution over lifting restrictions in the capital, despite a fall in COVID-19 cases. Koike noted that Tokyo was expected not to reach a target for daily new cases to be under 70 percent of the number confirmed the previous week.

Japan’s cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato confirmed the restrictions would be extended for two weeks.

“Regarding the critical situation of the number of hospital beds available, it does not appear that pressure is easing in a stable manner,” Kato said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Under the state of emergency restrictions, restaurants and bars are asked to close by 8pm, with venues required to stop serving alcohol an hour prior. The public are asked to remain at home after 8pm unless they have essential reasons to go out.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga confirmed the state of emergency will remain in place, reportedly expressing the aim for the extension to be the final one required.

“I will do everything we can to prevent a rebound of the infections and another state of emergency,” Suga said.

Tokyo reported 301 new coronavirus cases on March 5, a rise from 279 the day earlier. The seven-day average for new cases in Tokyo is 273. The highest total of new cases in Tokyo occurred on January 7 when the figure stood at 2,447.

Japanese reports have suggested the Government may allow exemptions for athletes to enter the country when the measures lift. This would enable foreign athletes to enter Japan to train prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as take part in qualification events.

Athletes would reportedly not be required to quarantine for two weeks on arrival. They would be restricted to hotels and training venues, along with being prohibited from using public transport.

This would effectively mirror the measures which are set to be in place during the Olympic and Paralympic Games later this year. It is unclear whether exemptions will now be given to athletes amid the extension of the stage of emergency.

Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021

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