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Japan eyes tougher Olympics rules for Delta variant-hit countries

Japan will impose tougher rules on athletes and staff participating in the Tokyo Olympics from countries hit by the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus including more rigorous testing and restrictions on coming into contact with other people, the government's top spokesman said Monday.
The move comes amid concerns the games, set to start July 23, could become a superspreader event as the capital sees infections creep back up just a week after a state of emergency was lifted.
Athletes and staff will be required to be tested every day for a week before coming to Japan, during which time they are to be isolated, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference. They will also be forbidden from coming into contact with other people for three days after arriving.
"We will take the necessary border measures while also ensuring athletes are treated fairly in terms of nutrition, training facilities," Kato said, adding the government is in talks with the International Olympic Committee and the games organizing committee to finalize the rules.
The government's top COVID-19 adviser, Shigeru Omi, and other infectious disease experts have warned the Delta variant, first detected in India and believed to 1.8-times more transmissible than the original strain of the coronavirus, as well as an increase in the flow of people during the Olympics and Paralympics could lead to surge in infections.


© KYODO
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