Japan is reported to be adding ten new countries to their Red List of countries that it considers potential COVID-19 variant spreaders . . . Among them Britain.
The UK reported number of coronavirus cases has been increasing recently, from less than 2,000 at the beginning of May, to over 7,000 on Wednesday 9 June, mainly due to the more transmissible Delta variant.
The matter was raised at the latest International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board meeting, and although Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s Olympic Games executive director, denied the Red List rumour . . . He also said that those with the variants are willing to take extra measures on their side to make sure they can access Japan . . . including 100 per cent of their delegations to be vaccinated.
Earlier this week the British Olympic Association (BOA) sent a letter to Seiko Hashimoto, the President of Tokyo 2020 in which they assured him that they “doing everything possible to minimise any risk to the people of Japan” in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.
Mr Dubi added there would be “no exceptions” to the 14-day period of movement restrictions policy, regardless of where athletes, officials or media members were coming from. “You have an activity plan and you cannot go out of this activity plan.”
The strict activity plan and movement restrictions are part of the formidable Olympic Playbooks that everyone must follow to the letter.
The third and final edition the Olympic Playbooks are due to be released next week, and according to the IOC they will now include “sport-specific rules”.
In a strange contradiction – with the Tokyo Games due to open on 23 July – Tokyo is still in a Covid-19 state of emergency and only about 10 percent of the population of Japan have received a vaccination jab to date.
Despite this and the very slow vaccination roll-out rate in Japan – less than 10% – the IOC is now pushing for the competitor delegations to be 100% vaccinated.
Japan’s government response was to say that it aims to roll out coronavirus vaccines to everybody who wants them by October or November . . . two months after the Games have finished!
Vaccination figures for the UK are over 70% one dose and 42% two doses to date. A total of over 69 million doses.