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Six Team GB athletes self-isolating as Tokyo Olympic Village hit by Covid
18 July 2021, 15:56
Six British athletes and two staff members have been forced to self-isolate in Tokyo as the Olympic Village recorded its first Covid cases just days ahead of the opening ceremony.
The eight members of Team GB were identified as close contacts of an individual who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, the British Olympic Association (BOA) said on Sunday.
Team GB's Chef de Mission Mark England described it as "disappointing news for the athletes and staff" but added they will "absolutely respect the protocols in place".
"We will offer them every support during this period and we are hopeful that they will be able to resume training again soon," he added.
The individual who tested positive was not a member of Team GB but was a close contact on their flight to Japan on Thursday, the BOA said.
It comes as two South African football players became the first athletes living inside the Olympic Village to test positive for Covid.
The South African Football Association confirmed there were three Covid-19 cases in its delegation - two players and a video analyst.
The entire football team has now been forced into isolation while they await the result of Covid tests on players and staff.
South Africa are due to play Japan in their first game of the men's soccer competition on Thursday at Tokyo Stadium.
Organisers also said on Sunday that another athlete had tested positive but this person was not residing in the Olympic Village.
Last week, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach claimed there was "zero" risk of athletes in the village passing on the virus to Japanese people or other residents of the village.
But the delayed Tokyo games come amidst rising Covid cases in Japan, with a state of emergency declared in the region.
Supporters have been banned from attending and on Sunday around 200 protesters gathered in central Tokyo to protest against the Olympics going ahead.
Tokyo reported 1,008 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the 29th straight day that cases were higher than seven days previously. It was also the fifth straight day with more than 1,000 cases reported.