Olympics-Team GB will be fully vaccinated before Tokyo 2020 - BOA

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Winter Olympics - Team GB Homecoming

(Reuters) - Team GB is on track to ensure all athletes and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of next month's Tokyo Olympics, the British Olympic Association (BOA) said on Tuesday.

In a letter to the president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee Seiko Hashimoto, the BOA's chair Hugh Robertson said the British delegation will do everything to minimise COVID-19 risks to the Japanese public ahead of next month's Games.

Only 14% of the travelling party have yet to receive a vaccine, with the vast majority of those receiving their first dose of vaccine this week.

The BOA said Team GB will also adopt a rigorous testing and isolation programme -- over and above the requirements of the Tokyo 2020 'playbooks' -- for the final 14 days before the team flies to Japan.

"It's our priority to protect not only the health of our athletes and wider delegation, but our hosts in Tokyo," BOA chief executive Andy Anson said.

"Our relationships in Japan are incredibly important to us and we would not do anything to jeopardise them."

Each member of the travelling party will undergo a COVID-19 PCR test 14 days prior to travel and regular lateral flow tests during the final build-up to the Games.

"We also shield ourselves for the final build-up to the Games," Anson added. "That will mean avoiding close contacts, or going to crowded or indoor spaces."

Japan has been spared the serious COVID-19 outbreaks seen elsewhere but has recorded over 760,000 cases and more than 13,600 deaths.

Tokyo and other regions are under a state of emergency as the nation battles a fourth wave ahead of the July 23 to Aug. 8 Games.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)