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Tokyo Olympics hit by two COVID-19 cases inside athletes' village

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
The official Games rings, pictured here at the Olympics.
The Olympic Games rings. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Two workers inside the Tokyo Olympic village have tested positive for Covid-19 in a massive blow to organisers just two weeks before the opening ceremony.

According to the ABC, Olympic organisers announced on Wednesday that the staff members tested positive last week.

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They had been eating in a group with two other village workers, which is a violation of Covid-19 restrictions in the Olympic village.

The two other workers in question have tested negative.

It's the latest Covid-19 blow to organisers after a coach and athlete from Uganda, as well as a Serbian athlete, tested positive upon arrival in Tokyo.

All three were picked up at the airport and put into separate quarantine.

Australia's athletes will be urged to stay out of the village gymnasium and spend as little time as possible in the dining hall at the Tokyo Games.

Australia's Olympic team chief medical officer David Hughes revealed on Monday that between 95 and 98 per cent of Australia's Olympic team will be fully vaccinated.

The team will adopt other protocols beyond those enforced by Games organisers.

A journalist, pictured here outside an official shop at the Olympic Village in Tokyo.
A journalist shoots outside an official shop at the Olympic Village in Tokyo. (Photo by Wang Zijiang/Xinhua via Getty Images)

All Australian athletes and support staffers will have three Covid tests in the 14 days before departure and then be tested by Tokyo officials on arrival at the airport.

"Despite all the testing, despite all the vaccination, we're not being complacent about the possibility that there may be Covid-19 circulating in the village," Dr Hughes said on Monday.

"And we therefore have to assume that that is the case and maintain our other measures such as mask wearing, maintain social distance, for some of those key areas in the village like the dining hall, the village gymnasium, Games transport.

"We have put measures in place to ensure that we absolutely minimise any chance of an Australian athlete picking up the virus.

"I feel confident that we have got the best plan we can possibly have in place."

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Olympic torch relay scrapped in Tokyo

Meanwhile, organisers also announced on Wednesday that the Olympic torch relay has been scrapped on Tokyo's public roads due to virus concerns.

Private flame-lighting ceremonies will replace public relay events across the capital beginning on Friday, the Tokyo city government said.

Right up to the opening ceremony on July 23, the torch events will be streamed online, with authorities urging spectators to watch them "in the comfort of your home".

Only the relay leg in the Ogasawara islands - a remote archipelago some 1000 kilometres south of Tokyo - will go ahead as scheduled.

The nationwide torch relay has been fraught with problems since it began in March, with almost half the legs disrupted in some way.

The relay was forced off public roads in famous tourist cities such as Kyoto and Hiroshima over fears that crowds of fans could spread the virus.

Japan's government is this week expected to extend anti-virus measures in Tokyo and elsewhere, with a further decision on fan attendance at the Olympics to follow.

with agencies

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