Home >News >India >Allow athletes, officials returning from Tokyo Olympics to board flights without RT-PCR: IOA

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has requested the central government to amend the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for athletes and officials flying back from Tokyo as getting a Covid-19 test is proving to be a difficult task.

IOA chief Narinder Batra has written to secretary sports Ravi Mital, asking that the Indian contingent should be allowed to enter the company without a Covid test report as long as they have accreditation cards.

"Government of India requires people travelling into India to get a valid RT-PCR test done before arriving. It applies to people arriving from Japan into India," news agency ANI quoted an email by Batra.

"Sir, our humble request from Tokyo through your office is to kindly take it up with the ministry of health, disaster management and whoever else handles this with a request to allow the athletes, the officials, the IOA officials and delegates, NSF officials/delegates and the media who are coming back from Tokyo and have an accreditation card based on which Japan allowed them entry, to get back in India without RT-PCR test and report," he added.

He further requested the Indian government to inform the Japanese government of the same.

"Sir, our request is that a letter goes from the Government of India to the Government of Japan that all athletes and others referred above be permitted to board flights from Japan to India without a Covid test and in India also be permitted to go through without waiting for the test," Batra wrote.

He said the airlines travelling from Japan to India -- Air India, Vistara, All Nippon Airlines, and Japan Airlines -- should also be conveyed the message so that the boarding process is seamless.

The reason for the request from the IOA chief is the difficulty and confusion in getting tests done.

"To get RT-PCR test done in Tokyo or outside Tokyo where the contingent is based, is a very difficult task. Here the paperwork is perfect but in practice, there is a lot of confusion and very difficult to get things," he explained.

"Every member of the contingent, officials, delegate from IOA and NSFs are being tested in Tokyo every day for Covid till each individual's departure back to India," he added.

Batra also mentioned that silver medallist Mirabai Chanu will head back to India on Monday. "Weightlifting contingent will depart from Tokyo on 26 July," he informed.

With inputs from agencies.

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