Tokyo, June 27 : The organizers of the Olympic Games in Japan plan to introduce stricter entry restrictions for athletes from certain countries starting next month, because of the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported on Sunday.
The new restrictions will apply to those arriving from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives. Athletes from these countries, as well as those accompanying them, will have to take coronavirus tests daily for a week prior to arrival in Japan, as well as for three days after their arrival.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) included the Delta variant in its list of coronavirus variants of concern as the strain had become prevalent and has caused a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some countries. India has also reported multiple cases of the Delta Plus strain, which was first discovered in March.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo could be held without spectators if a COVID-19 state of emergency is declared in the country.
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were initially scheduled for 2020 but were postponed in the spring of last year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are currently scheduled to be held this summer, from July 23 until August 8.
Because of COVID-19, the Japanese government has decided to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics without foreign spectators.