British Tokyo teams preparing for all situations after more Covid rules announced *H&H Plus*

  • H&H finds out what new Japanese regulations concerning travellers from the UK will mean for our equestrian teams heading for Tokyo within weeks

    BRITAIN’S Olympic and Paralympic squads are preparing for all eventualities after news broke that athletes and support crews arriving from the UK will be subject to additional stringent Covid precautions.

    The UK has been added to Japan’s red list, owing to the Delta variant. There were initial concerns that athletes across the board who had been in the UK within the previous 14 days of arriving in Japan would face a mandatory six-day hotel isolation period.

    The situation is fluid, but the latest updates have abated these fears. Instead, UK arrivals for the Games are likely to be restricted to not mixing with other squads for the first three days in Japan, rather than having to undergo strict hotel isolation for six days.

    A British Equestrian spokesman told H&H the British Olympic Association (BOA) is working on this.

    “The BOA is in direct dialogue with the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organising committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to resolve the situation, so that all Team GB can arrive and get underway without the need to quarantine or isolate, or with limited quarantine or isolation,” she said.

    “The BOA is very positive of a workable solution and are advising we carry on with preparations along those lines. Our team is, of course, preparing for plans b, c, d and e – as has been the way for everything in the build-up to Tokyo. But at present, there are no changes to our preparations or travel plans.”

    All those at the Games have to follow rules set out in “playbooks” and everyone arriving in Japan is subject to particularly strict restrictions during their first 14 days in the country. These include only being allowed to go to pre-approved destinations and no use of public transport or visits to restaurants or tourist areas.

    The new quarantine restrictions, which are in addition to the strict rules already set out in the playbooks, have potentially wide-reaching implications for others working at the Games, with last-minute changes to travel arrangements to factor in any extra quarantine or isolation requirements.

    In other Olympic news, there will be no overseas ticket holders at this year’s Games, but the spectator limit has now been set at 50% of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 domestic fans. A decision on Paralympic Games spectators is set to be made by 16 July.

    “The situation will be monitored in Japan and abroad, including the status of the different variants of the coronavirus, and all necessary action will be taken promptly,” said a joint statement from the five parties involved in organising the Games.

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