Tokyo 2020: Olympic Athletes Struggle to Travel to Japan During Covid-19

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Tokyo 2020: Olympic Athletes Struggle to Travel to Japan During Covid-19” – below is their description.

With 3 weeks to go till the Toyko 2020 Olympics, rising Covid-19 infections and getting athletes to Japan is looking like a logistical nightmare.

Ensuring 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries descend on one chosen city over the course of 16 days is a logistical challenge at the best of times.

Under normal circumstances, the Sri Lankan team would have taken a flight to Singapore and from there onto Tokyo. But with Covid cases still averaging almost 2,000 a day, Sri Lanka, an island to the south of India, is on many countries’ banned lists. Singapore doesn’t allow anyone with a recent travel history to even transit through the city-state.

Although most athletes have been fully vaccinated and Games organizers require negative Covid tests prior to arrival, there have already been some upsets. Two members of Uganda’s Olympic squad tested positive in Japan last month, despite having been inoculated earlier, and over the weekend, a rower from Serbia tested positive.

The Brazilian delegation, meanwhile — a large group of almost 300 athletes competing in events from fencing to skateboarding, shooting, swimming and gymnastics — had to scramble to get flights on Deutsche Lufthansa AG after its original carrier Air Canada canceled flights that would have taken the team via Toronto.

Another particular logistics problem of holding the Games during a pandemic has been that many athletes haven’t been able to train in locations they would have normally otherwise. Difficulty traveling internationally has also made getting to the necessary qualifying events extremely tricky.

And of course, as athletes in far-flung places that aren’t international hubs check their luggage and boarding passes one last time, the virus that has laid waste to so many lives, hopes and dreams is never far from their thoughts.

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