The journey from Tokyo airport to Olympic Games Village during COVID emergency

Tokyo Olympics is set to start on July 23
Tokyo Olympics is set to start on July 23

With less than 13 days left for the Summer Games, Tokyo is all set to host probably the most historic Olympics ever. The arrival process, logistics, and stadiums seem to be at their best. But long queues and several hours of waiting will be the first hurdle for all the stakeholders once they enter the land of the rising sun.

Each participant of the game needs to install a mandatory OCHA app which will be a lifeline of the game. The app enables GPS to track each and every movement of the participant. This is to ensure everyone is under watch regarding their movement during the quarantine period. Games participants around the world will need to produce two negative test results (96 and 72 hours) before departure.

Due to the new delta variant in India, every game participant traveling has to perform test 7 days regularly before departure. After arrival at any of the Tokyo airports (Narita or Haneda), every games participant has to undergo one more COVID-19 test. No water, no food, no smoke is allowed 30 minutes before the test for the accuracy of the test.

Strict COVID tests at the airport
Strict COVID tests at the airport

If anyone is tested positive, one more test will be done with the same procedure. Testing and results results take about 60-90 mins, however during peak hours and as the Games draw near, the time is likely to increase.

The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has already published guidelines for the peak days/hours for the Games to avoid delays. The wait time will be irritating and athletes need to be prepared for it.

Also Read: Complete list of Indian athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics 2020

A positive result means movement to the quarantine center and end of the Games for the concerned person. If tested negative, it isn't the end of the war. Tests need to be done every three to seven days after arrival depending on the role.

Lifeline of the game OCHA App, require for daily health monitoring
Lifeline of the game OCHA App, require for daily health monitoring

Narita International airport is about 60kms away from downtown Tokyo, which will be at least an hour's ride to the Games village. There are no gray lines for the people of Japan, so If you are asked to maintain social distancing, you have no other choice. Hence, the entire 4-5 hour process with social distancing might be a bit of a pain and require patience.

Also Read: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Everything you need to know about the event

What are the rules to be followed in the Games Village?

The Games participants will be in bio-bubble for the next 14 days where they cannot use public transport or visit public places. No one is allowed to move out of the village or official hotel unless their venues are approved by the Tokyo organizing committee in the activity plan. Only official transport facilities can be availed.

Overall, the first post pandemic Olympic Games are going to be challenging. Athletes' first headache will be the result of the test. One wrong result will shatter their Olympic dream. The officials and volunteers at the airports are extremely co-operative and working to perfect the Games. However, there is a language barrier, which has made things a little more tedious than previously anticipated.

Post the COVID-19 pandemic, Games are going to be different with several precautions in place. The Tokyo Games organizers have implemented several systems for the Games like ADS (Arrivals and departures), ICON (Infection control system), OCHA to collect information and have proper method for the games but too many cooks are spoiling the broth.

Negative certificate after covid test that will be provided to all stakeholders
Negative certificate after covid test that will be provided to all stakeholders

How exactly is the emergency working in Tokyo?

The Japanese government has decided to place Tokyo under a COVID-19 state of emergency from Monday July 12 to August 22. That will include the duration of the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Tokyo is in a COVID-19 induced state of emergency
Tokyo is in a COVID-19 induced state of emergency

Surprisingly, an emergency is like a lockdown but only after 8 PM. So that brings the curtains to hang outs and meeting friends at restaurants and bars after 8 PM. Everything works normally during the day in Tokyo including public transport.

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Also Read: Most Likely Projection of How Many Medals India Will Win at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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