T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis has sought to double and triple his committee's safety measures for Team T&T, which are already in line with those put in place by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japan Government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Lewis at a virtual news press conference meeting on Saturday said he has extreme confidence in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic safety procedures implemented by the Japanese government and the Tokyo 2020 Committee and has agreed to cancel a planned pre-game camp in Osaki, a small town to the outskirts of Tokyo Olympics village with a population of about 10, 000 people.
Lewis, supported by chef de mission Lovie Santana said a virtual showing of the TTO's pre-game activities has been proposed for the schools in that area, the children and the youth of Osaki town, and it has been accepted by all.
The camp was cancelled after serious consideration of the environment there, Lewis explained: "Following discussions with the Japan Embassy, the Ambassador to T&T, the town of Osaki and the TTOC, charged with the game-related responsibility. What would have happened is that on the 21st of May, we would have had a meeting of the three entities and there was a re-commitment by Osaki town to continue to stage the pre-game training camp. At the meeting, they were very frank and open with conversations where safety and the biosecure environment was of paramount, and an absolute priority.
The Osaki authorities would have reviewed and re-examined the situation in light of the increased COVID-19 risks in Miyagi Prefecture, the fact that the majority of people would have been interfacing with the TTO delegation, would not have been vaccinated because of the policy in Japan. The fact that there was not a dedicated medical facility in Osaki town, and the additional financial requirements to put in place essentially, what would have been the same type of COVID-19 counter-measures that would be applied in Tokyo."
The Osaki officials revealed that in the interest of the absolute safety of the TTO team and the people of Osaki town that the camp be cancelled.
Lewis and the TTOC also explained that a decision was taken for the TTOC to repurpose its focus on enhanced COVID-19 countermeasures that will complement the very strict and restrictive countermeasures being put in place by the Japan/Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese government, and the Tokyo Metropolitan government as well as the IOC.
According to Lewis, they are very confident in the strict measures that have been put in place already, such as two PCR tests within three days of departure, daily saliva tests, applications that would monitor movement, restriction from public transport, and engaging with anyone outside of the bubble, noting that breaches in these restrictions can result in your accreditation being withdrawn and you can be sent home.
The TTOC in its plan to ensure the safety of the Japanese people and his delegation said they also have a plan to ensure that 100 percent of the delegation is vaccinated, saying: "While there are those who may have a concern with that, it is an absolute necessity, given the actual situation here in T&T."
The TTOC will also ensure that 14 days before the T&T-based delegation travels, that PCR tests will be done, which will be in addition, to the two PCR tests that will be administered within 96 hours of their travel arrangements.
There will also be strict monitoring of athletes and officials, with an element of self-isolation to be enforced.
Also, the TTOC will be making arrangements when the team is on its way back home, for a 14-day quarantine period to assure the people of T&T that they are not bringing back home any variant, as well as other contingency plans if they encounter a delay in flights arrangements.