• Kyodo

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Japan’s government will ask overseas athletes and staff participating in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to be tested for the novel coronavirus twice within 96 hours of departure from their respective countries, multiple games sources said Sunday.

An interim report by a government-led panel released last December concluded that travelers needed to be tested once within 72 hours of departure. The requirement for multiple negative tests is designed to tighten health screening during the immigration process, the sources said.

Tokyo Games athletes and staff will also be tested at the airport upon their arrival in Japan.

The issue is set to be discussed Wednesday by the games’ coronavirus countermeasure panel and in an online meeting of the International Olympic, International Paralympic and local organizing committees, and Tokyo’s and Japan’s governments.

The second editions of the Tokyo Games’ COVID-19 playbooks are scheduled to be released on Wednesday and Friday.

The organizing bodies have already settled on a basic policy of testing athletes daily after their arrival in Japan, while allowing them to take part in training or competition during the 14-day quarantine period provided their movements are limited to the athletes’ village and their training and competition venues.

Individuals representing IOC, national Olympic committees, international sports federations and media organizations will be tested daily for the first three days in Japan, the sources said.

Those individuals are to be tested less frequently thereafter — every four or seven days, for instance — depending on their level of contact with athletes. Through testing and restricting their contact with the public, these visitors will still be able to function during their initial quarantine period.

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