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Tokyo 2020 says athletes’ movement should be controlled to stop Covid spread

Tokyo, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday said restrictions should be placed on athletes’ movements to curb any potential spread of Covid-19 when the event goes ahead next year.

The organizing committee made the proposed health and safety protocol public at a press conference and the topic will now be debated by the International Olympic Committee and the national federations.

Foreign athletes coming from countries on Japan’s travel warning list will be exempt from the 14 day mandatory quarantine period but will have to take regular Covid-19 tests and their freedom of movement will be limited to avoid them coming into contact with the general public.

“The athletes have to be protected, if they come into contact with the public they could get infected. We also have to protect the public from possible infections,” Toshiro Muto, the executive director of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said.

The proposed protocol would request all foreign athletes and their coaching staff to take a coronavirus test 72 hours before traveling to Japan. They will have to produce a certified negative result and undergo a second test once in Japan.

Athletes will then only be allowed to travel between the airport, their accommodation and the sporting facilities, according to the proposal.

Specialized vehicles will be used to transport athletes between the Olympic Village and the venues. Competitors will also have to share their location with olympic officials using a cellphone app.

Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihide Suga and the president of the IOC Tomas Bach jointly pledged in a call Wednesday to ensure the Olympic Games, which were postponed until 2021 because of the pandemic, are a success.

In a 15 minute discussion, Suga said Japan was doing everything it could to keep the coronavirus under control, according to the country’s foreign ministry. EFE-EPA

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