Athletes known to have been in close contact with those infected with the novel coronavirus will still be allowed to compete in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics if they test negative six hours prior to the event, sources with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.
The Japanese government as well as the organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics among others are considering a plan to conduct PCR tests on such athletes around six hours before the start time of their competitions.
Under the latest playbooks, which spell out for athletes and officials how to hold a "safe and successful games," athletes found to have been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 will be required to move to a private room in the athletes' village in Tokyo and eat meals in isolation.
They will also have to use designated vehicles for transport and stay apart from other athletes on practice fields and at game venues to ensure social distancing.
The playbook stipulates that such athletes will need negative results on daily PCR tests in order to obtain approval to join the games, in addition to other requirements such as case-by-case reviews by medical experts and consent from respective international sports associations.
To ensure the safety of athletes and officials at the Summer Games, athletes known to have been in close contact with an infected person will likely need to take another PCR test after competing, if engaged in sports involving physical contact such as judo, according to the sources.
The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 through Aug. 8, with spectators barred from nearly all venues, as the Japanese capital will be under a fresh state of emergency through Aug. 22 amid a surge in coronavirus infection cases.