Home OLYMPICS Uncertainty swirls around possible quarantine at the Olympics

Uncertainty swirls around possible quarantine at the Olympics

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Updated travel restrictions and deteriorating global health conditions create new doubts about the fate of Tokyo Olympic Games, which was canceled last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled to run from July 23 to August 8.

A bunch of media reports on Wednesday suggest that a possible 14-day quarantine for Olympic athletes could make it difficult for riders hoping to ride Tour de France and the Olympics next season.

Belgian newspaper The latest news reported that the International Olympic Committee has accepted a two-week quarantine prior to the Games for all Olympic athletes. Several sources told VeloNews this latest development has not been officially confirmed and there was no official comment from the IOC or Japanese Olympic officials on Wednesday.

Sources told VeloNews that the current rules would allow drivers clearing health checks to drive the ride ahead of the rescheduled Olympics, where men’s road races come less than a week after the ride ends in Paris.

The conflicting reports reveal a new wave of uncertainty ahead of the 2021 racing season and the important Olympic Games.

Media reports in Japan overnight say that one special travel exemption for athletes at Olympic level will also be lifted as part of a new ban on international travelers entering Japan at least in late January.

The ghost of fear of a new tribe of coronavirus originating from the United Kingdom, combined with rising global infection rates, could see tighter restrictions for Japan extended to the coming months.

The evolving health situation and the possibility of quarantines before games create a new wave of doubt and uncertainty for Olympic cyclists.

In November, both Japanese and IOC officials assured that there would be no quarantine prior to games for athletes clearing COVID-19 screenings before entering the country. Olympic officials plan to impose a string Tour de France-style “bubble” for athletes, coaches and other support staff as well as regularly testing everyone in the Olympic Village for possible infection before and during competition.

If a quarantine is required before the competition, it would be anything but impossible for riders to drive the ride – June 26 to July 18 – and compete in elite men’s road races on July 24. There would be similar problems for drivers wishing to complete the Giro Rosa, which ended on July 11 before being challenged in the women’s road race on July 25.

Sources told VeloNews that a two-week quarantine for elite athletes would be far from ideal before international competition, adding that all athletes at the Olympic level will already be in a controlled “bubble” weeks before traveling to Japan to compete, and that competing nations will have a rigorous COVID testing program in place in cooperation with the IOC and Japanese officials.

Sources also said VeloNews due to health concerns, IOC officials have only asked athletes to arrive in Japan five days before the competition and leave within 48 hours of the competition.

However, media reports in Belgium suggest that the IOC is ready to impose quarantines before the game. It is unclear whether a quarantine before gambling would be a hard lockdown or perhaps allow physical activity within a limited area.

The ambiguity throws a wrench into the plans for riders who map out their respective 2021 race calendars. Stars in defense of the elite men’s gold medal Greg Van Avermaet and Dutch multi-discipline star Mathieu van der Poel have both said they plan to drive the trip before heading to Japan.

In addition to the Olympic insecurity, deteriorating health conditions are already entering the 2021 racing season.

WorldTour openers in Australia are already off the calendar, with Santos Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race either canceled or reduced to regional pro-am events. Colombia Tour 2.1 is also canceled, while overnight media reports suggest that the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina will not have international teams.

European races, however sees record interest in their events in Spain, France and Portugal, as teams and cyclists expect to remain within European borders through much of the 2021 racing season.

There is also growing hope that a range of new vaccines will help ease pandemic conditions at the start of the Olympic Games and the main dates of the road season.

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