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Olympic’s COVID-19 Decisions Called Into Question As Cases Rise in Tokyo

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More tests and no quarantine period — that’s how Olympic organizers are approaching COVID-19 protocols at the Games this summer.

On Monday morning, the Associated Press reported that Tokyo Olympic Organizers and the IOC are expected to roll out the second edition of the “Playbooks,” a COVID-19 guidebook for the 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes planning to compete in three months.

The announcement, coming Wednesday, is expected to call for daily testing for athletes and dropping the requirement that athletes go through a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Much like in many professional sports leagues, athletes will be required to stay in a “bubble” that includes the Olympic Village, venues and training areas.

Sources told Japan’s Kyodo news agency that athletes and staff will be tested twice within 96 hours of leaving home. Tests will also be administered upon their arrival in Japan.

The IOC will also be releasing an edition of the “Playbooks” for media and other personnel on Friday.

The announcement comes as Tokyo has experienced a surge in coronavirus cases and and has been placed under a third state of emergency. The country has averaged around 4,500 new daily infections with recent spikes — the highest levels since a January wave.

Health officials believe new variants are the reason behind the rapid rise in new cases.

There are now even more questions as to whether domestic fans will be allowed in the stadiums. Fans from abroad have already been barred from attending the Olympics. Recent polls show that 70-80 percent of people in Japan would like to see the Olympics canceled or postponed.