Tokyo: The Indian athletes and officials travelling for the Tokyo Olympics have been asked by the Japanese government to undergo daily COVID-19 tests for a week prior to their departure and not interact with anyone from another country for three days on arrival, strictures that have left the IOA fuming.
Stricter regulations have been put in place for all travellers — including athletes, coaches and support staff — who have resided in 11 countries, including India, where different variants of COVID-19 have been identified, within 14 days of their arrival in Tokyo.
“The unfair and discriminatory” rules have drawn sharp criticism from the Indian Olympic Association. India’s COVID-19 situation has improved considerably after a catastrophic second wave with daily cases declining from more than 3 lakh a few weeks back to just over 60,000 right now. India has been clubbed in group 1 alongside Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“Before you travel: You must be tested every day, for seven days, prior to your departure to Japan,” the advisory stated for the Group 1 countries. “Physical distancing: For seven days prior to your departure to Japan, you must keep your physical interaction with all others, including from another team, delegation or country, to an absolute minimum,” it added.