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Tokyo Olympic athletes to be exempted from virus entry bans

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I think this whole "within 72 hours" thing needs to be rethought out. Many countries don't return the results within that time period.

32 ( +32 / -0 )

Note that this wouldn't be an issue if the gov had any intention to lift the travel ban for visitors by next summer.

So indirectly, they are saying they have no plan to openly let in foreign tourists before then and be in the audiance.

Curious if they also plan to give entry exemptions to foreign coaches, trainers, atheletes' family, foreign media, IOC staff from every country, and all the sponsors.

27 ( +27 / -0 )

The Japanese government has decided to set up a system to exempt athletes competing at next year's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from entry restrictions currently placed on 159 countries

Is this because they think that virus can really choose its host? Virus only infected foreigners that are not being Olympic athlete, while athlete will be free from virus?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Based on rigorous scientific research (not) the Japanese government has decided that there is a variety of human aka athletes that are different from normal humans?

Amazing Japan!

18 ( +20 / -2 )

It does make sense to exempt Tokyo Olympics athletes from entry bans for the Tokyo Olympics.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Total face saving farce, not going to make money for all that has been spent. The only thing to come of this is nothing just negative well a tax rise. Which is a positive for politicians Bad idea, really bad idea now.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

After imposing heavy restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals in response to the coronavirus pandemic

But it's fine for Japanese to come and go as they please. Weird.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

And just how much of our taxes are going to be used to pay for all the tests and extra precautions that will need to be taken as well?

A PCR test for these folks will not be covered by any insurance, and they are not cheap. Add on transportation costs, hiring private cars, vans, taxis, buses and what not, and the bill just gets higher and higher.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Another step towards reopening the border

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

If you want to follow this keep your eyes on the World Masters games for May 2021 Kansai. That will give a glimpse of international competition with a multi sport component.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It would be better to exempt us all from the Olympics this time around until the virus is under control. That would be the responsible approach. But they just gotta chase the almighty dollar.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Athletes exemption would cause a serious pandemic after Olympics is over, No doubt about it. so no exemption. It should be cancelled next year.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

What about spectators who has spent thousands on tickets? They are out of luck, I guess.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

because the don't have the testing capacity

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This will be a death sentence to the elderly. The version of the virus here is the less aggressive Chinese origin virus. The one in Europe, US, Brazil and India is far more dangerous.

bTW. As said before, my cousin and her husband tested negative in India and positive in NZ in Quarantine.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

They are still on for the Olympics. Amazing.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

If you want to follow this keep your eyes on the World Masters games for May 2021 Kansai. That will give a glimpse of international competition with a multi sport component.

I will bet they wont let these athletes into the country under the same conditions. They arent Olympic athletes, and as "Master's" they are in the group of people most vulnerable to the virus.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It would be better to exempt us all from the Olympics this time around until the virus is under control. That would be the responsible approach. But they just gotta chase the almighty dollar.

Not "dollar" yen! And it's not about "chasing it", it's about justifying everything that has been spent so far!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Speed

I think this whole "within 72 hours" thing needs to be rethought out. Many countries don't return the results within that time period.

There is a new Antigen test coming out in October that will return a result in 15 minutes, 95% accurate.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2020/08/26/us-approves-abbott-labs-5-mass-scale-covid-19-test/

U.S. Approves Abbott Labs $5 Rapid Covid-19 Test For ‘Mass Scale’ Use

The FDA’s “emergency use authorization” awarded to Abbott’s “BinaxNOW Covid-19 Ag Card” rapid test could be a game-changer given it turns around results within 15 minutes and could be administered in schools, workplaces and other sites

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@speed

Fair point, I understand where you are coming from, and your concerns.

However extending this period to more than 72 hours would be a mistake as it would increase the risk - even further - for everyone here.

72 hours/3 days is already a long period of time, when people are potentially exposed to several different environments and people before they embark on their flight.

Many countries have services that can now deliver the results in 24 hours, and soon most will be able to deliver trustworthy results in a matter of minutes.

Fortunately, soon this should not be a concern anymore for anyone travelling to Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Very concerning.

As this action, system to exempt athletes competing at next year's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games from entry restrictions, is by definition circumventing and contradicting…

Read for yourselves.

Border enforcement measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page4e_001053.html

6500 qualified, plus.

It is delusional and ludicrous to suggest their movement can be contained, or restricted.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Note that this wouldn't be an issue if the gov had any intention to lift the travel ban for visitors by next summer.

So indirectly, they are saying they have no plan to openly let in foreign tourists before then and be in the audiance.

Curious if they also plan to give entry exemptions to foreign coaches, trainers, atheletes' family, foreign media, IOC staff from every country, and all the sponsors.

Indeed, this does pose more questions. Some athletes will make recon type trips to check the facilities and courses, so its a given for them to also make pre-Olympic visits. My guess is that "athletes" here will also cover related staff and IOC people.

We don't know, but this could be a case of opening the border starting with people least likely to draw opposition. Japan has lots of little towns where any out of town number plate has people whispering "Corona! Corona!" When the border is reopened, it will be in defiance to these people. There are lots of people whose pensions or incomes are completely unaffected by economic activity or at least economic activity involving foreigners. It's no skin of their nose if the border is closed permanently. In this scenario, the Olympics may well force the border open earlier than it would be otherwise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

While people with valid COE and a job waiting for them in Japan are still stuck abroad...

Priorities.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Test negative within 72 hours. Remember the Chinese student, who had a test done before leaving China. But it was not an acceptable test to Japan !

is there anyone associated with J gov capable of forward thinking ?

ok - silly question

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So, as suggested, all protocols in Japan are merely lip-service. Well done, Japan, for proving that the ban on foreign entry for the past half year has been solely based on racism, and now they are just lifting it for athletes so that they can desperately try and keep the Games and reputation.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Sadly this is all Japan cares about....

12 ( +12 / -0 )

So, the athletes have to be tested twice, undergo a 14 days quarantine and still they're "prohibited from taking public transport" and also they have to "limit contact with the general public".

Why?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What about trainers, translators, support crews?

And the Paralympics? Many more support staff required

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This is outright insanity.

When Tokyo won the Olympic's bid,

I thought then it was a bad idea to spend money on that while other issues

are still open sores, but now to be put at risk by this government's

blood thirst to keep these games at all costs, is too much.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I can't get a mcdonalds here to take pickles off my burger but they miraculously can make legal exceptions to make a buck.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Ugh.. just postpone to 2024.. stop trying to force it down everyone’s throats. Most Japanese I know don’t even want it to take place next year. But yea, why would the government care about what the citizens want, they have other priorities like money and saving face.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

There is a new Antigen test coming out in October that will return a result in 15 minutes, 95% accurate.

You need a PCR test for active infection which takes at least 3 days to get the results. Antigen test shows you were infected in the past and have antibodies to the virus.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As usual long term residents back of the queue.

The 72 hour departure test makes it almost impossible for many to travel to Japan, those quick 30 min tests do not meet Japan’s strict testing specifications, and even if you can get an approved test it’s no guarantee of entry. A woman posted on social media yesterday, saying she did everything right but was denied entry at immigration this week because her pre departure test didn’t use the English word ‘negative’. The certificate stated “not detected/no indication”, which is common practice, but the immigration officer denied entry. I can see athletes being turned away or, to save Japan’s Olympic face, being waved through even though documentation doesn’t meet their stupidly high requirements. Meanwhile Japanese citizens come and go.

Japan needs to sort this out, consistency and clarity is needed.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

How is this different than places like the US on travel restrictions?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

What are they thinking? Athletes arrive weeks early to acclimate and train in the country where events are held, sharing close living quarters and facilities. There is no way to guarantee that there will not be asymptomatic carriers among them.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"Japan needs to sort this out, consistency and clarity is needed." Japan has the consistency thing down pat - blindly apply a universal rule whether or not it applies, and do not empower the person applying to rule to interpret it. Clarity is anathema to those in power - it potentially leads to accountability.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Speed & the 72hrs thing, the J-govt isnt going to be happy you just busted them, they have technically allowed travel but in reality its more than just difficult to comply, hence we can travel in THEORY ONLY, reality we cant, or its real gamble & you need to expect botched testing time frames meaning you lose your plane ticket & then rack up more expenses back home & have to try again......

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If this is the BEST Japan comes up with for going ahead with the games I am pretty sure Canada & others will pull the plug on their teams participating again!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Serves them right if nobody comes to Japan in the end. Although I wouldn't be surprised if they continued with the Games and thus Japan wins all the gold medals.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And just because Japan makes a loop hole for athletes etc to enter that doesnt mean they are safe from JAPANESE with covid!!!! Bet that hasnt even registered with the dummies in power.....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"I think this whole "within 72 hours" thing needs to be rethought out. Many countries don't return the results within that time period."

Agree 100%, unless Japanese embassies/conulates overseas can designate clinics that can provide same-day results with Japanese testing specifications.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Olympics is still 10 months out, why are we even discussing exemptions for athletes now? How about we focus on allowing those on resident tracks (workers, students) with Certificates of Eligibility that are waiting in limbo since April into the country first?

The business track travel agreement with Singapore is a one-sided joke meant to serve only the interests of Japanese business travelers. How many business travelers to Japan from a country of 5 million are there? I was optimistic at first (as I am in Hong Kong waiting for an internal transfer to Japan), but the fact that there is still no announcement on the residence track for Singapore shows you that Japan is not seriously considering the issue. FYI, Singapore government has been accepting new visa holders so Japanese companies can send their employees on overseas posts. Hong Kong too. We received two new employees at my office here just last month. That is why there is no rush to implement resident tracks.

Agreements should be reciprocal. Everyone passing through the border should be subject to the same protocols.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

do you guys even know what the availability heuristic is? there's alot of things that cause deaths (driving causes thousands, influenza causes thousands) but it's not grabbing your attention because it isn't particularly salient.( there is no media coverage) what is with the inconsistentcy here? how come we don't take measures to erradicate deer? ( the most deadliest animal in north america). how come we never implemented laws for mandatory mask wearing when it killed and continues to kill thousands of people a year. did you guys even take into account that there hasn't been studies done to determine whether tl a certain percentage of the death toll from the virus(around 900000) would not have been prevented because of other comorbities or causes if covid 19 never had existed.

it is important to think about the situation in general rather than argue within the framework promulgated. because the reality may exist outside the given framework.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

While they will basically be prohibited from taking public transport, they can catch commercial flights or bullet trains where required, provided they follow certain precautions to limit contact with the general public.

basically, this is not going to happen.

They'll be travelling around, shopping, sightseeing, some looking to overstay and get jobs, meeting with friends; and as long as they are not in team uniform, few will know that they are athletes, officials, support staff or other members of the Olympic village.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

did you know that an accuracy of a 95 percent test doesn't mean anything without knowledge of the base rate. if a test catches all people with the virus ( no false negatives) but with a false positive rate of one percent. and about one in one thousand people in the country are determined to have it than you might believe you have the disease for certain if you test positive.

lets suppose one thousand people take the test, and with the base rate one might expect one out of those thousands to have it. it will also say five percent of the rest of those tested will have it(50) so 51 people might be expected to have it of whom only one will have it. so there will be 1/51 or 2 percent chance of having it if 1/1000 people in Tokyo are expected to have it.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Well at least they are gold medal for stupidity, it was a long race and there were hurdles but head down stupidity will win and even in the face of a pandemic head down stupidity will win......douch the finish line is behind you, head down.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Money over health..i'll take health over money

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I guess many athletes would not come if not accompanied by some of their family members...

I see no scientific rationale applying here.

If pandemy ends this year or early next year, that will save the Olympics. Not even sure Japan will lift then their ban as ghey seem ot to understand how a vitus spreading work.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

cancel this show already. The world wouldn't end if a sport event is skipped, I promise

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The article is full of opinion...not news.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Let's see if they let in tourists are they going to let out PR holders and permit them to return?? Just asking, as I want to send my son next year to an international boarding school and he will be only 12 and I do not want to send him solo. I may have to and have family register him how fair is that?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Ashley Shiba

Contact your local immigration office to get the answer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think this has and will continue to bring more heated debate and attacks about discrimination. This really about politics and saving face to the World. There's already plenty of discrimination of foreign entry into Japan regarding COVID. I already plan to not watch the Olympics next year if it were to happen in Japan. It's already costing way too much and more venues will continue to be built rather than to be recycled. As a result, this Olympics will lose money and people will point fingers at each other for not making a profit. At least the Los Angeles games were very resourceful, thus making a profit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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