BOA on track to ensure all athletes and staff vaccinated ahead of Tokyo Olympics

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The British Olympic Association has said it is on track to ensure all athletes and staff are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Under an agreement between the BOA and the Government announced last month, all members of the travelling party are being offered vaccines made available through a deal between the International Olympic Committee and Pfizer

The BOA said on Tuesday that only 14 per cent of the travelling party are yet to receive a vaccine, with the vast majority of those remaining to receive their first dose this week.

There is a minimum three-week gap between doses of the Pfizer vaccine. PA understands that vaccinations will not be a pre-requisite for athletes’ selection for and travel to the Games, should they wish to turn down the opportunity.

The update came as BOA chair Sir Hugh Robertson wrote to the president of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Games, President Hashimoto, to provide assurance the organisation is “doing everything possible to minimise any risk to the people of Japan”.

There remains considerable unease in Japan about the staging of the Games, with Tokyo still under a state of emergency and with Japan having been slow to roll out the vaccine to its population so far.

BOA chief executive Andy Anson said: “It’s our priority to protect not only the health of our athletes and wider delegation, but our hosts in Tokyo.

“Our relationships in Japan are incredibly important to us and we would not do anything to jeopardise them, to the extent that we are going over-and-above the playbook requirements with our testing and isolation protocols.

“Everyone will undergo a PCR test 14 days prior to travel and regular lateral flow tests thereafter, as we also shield ourselves for the final build-up to the Games. That will mean avoiding close contacts, or going to crowded or indoor spaces.

“We’ll then take two PCR tests within 96 hours of travel, before a final test on the day of departure. We’re doing all we can, and more than we need to, to ensure our delegation is Covid free upon arrival in Japan.”

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