Tokyo 2021 Olympics: Panel Formed to Discuss Ease of Travel Restrictions for Athletes

Tokyo Olympics 2020 image

Travel to the Tokyo 2021 Olympics will be a huge issue moving forward as many countries are still feeling heavy affects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the pandemic, travel restrictions are limiting international travel, which could made for difficult situations for athletes arriving in Tokyo for the Olympics and Paralympics.

A panel will convene next month in Japan to discuss how to ease travel restrictions for Tokyo Olympians and Paralympians, according to multiple news outlets. The panel will include officials from the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, according to the Japan Times, as well as staff from the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

After being postponed in March because of the pandemic, the Tokyo 2021 Olympics are now scheduled to run from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan currently denies entry from 150 countries. People who are allowed to enter face two weeks in quarantine.

This could be a logistical nightmare for the 11,000-plus Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches from 200 countries around the world, especially because the state of the pandemic is ever-changing. Japan is not free of the virus as Tuesday saw 222 new cases in Tokyo. Two Tokyo 2020 staff members also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the month.

The panel will “discuss conditions for easing movement restrictions for Olympic and Paralympic athletes and officials”, the Japan Times reported.

This could include a requirement for polymerase chain reaction testing before departure and upon arrival in Japan, according to Inside the Games.