Photo: Australian Olympic Team / Twitter

The Australian Olympic Committee announced that every athlete and staff member attending the Tokyo Olympics will receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Following the National Cabinet’s announcement last night, the Australian Olympic Committee announced that all athletes and staff members will be vaccinated prior to heading to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll thanked the National Cabinet and the Federal Government for their support, and for the decision.

“It’s obviously a great relief for the athletes, and their coaches, and all their families,” Carroll said.

“The anxiety isn’t just about for the athletes, it’s for the families of those going into Tokyo.”

The vaccine rollout will begin next week, and is part of a series of arrangements made including charter flights and discussions around quarantine for athletes returning from the Games.

The decision comes just hours before the first edition of The Tokyo Playbook is announced. The Playbook is expected to contain the rules and procedures for athletes and staff members arriving for the Games in less than three months.

The Playbook will include testing requirements prior to and on arrival, and for a rapid departure after athletes finish competing.

Carroll was quick to emphasise that the planned rollout to the AOC will be outside the public health rollout, and will not affect the progress of the public vaccination campaign.

“It’s also about making sure that when the athletes come back, we’re looking after the safety of Australians,” he stressed.

Many of the staff members and Olympians are already vaccinated, either by virtue of age or being front line workers. This also includes the Indigenous athletes participating in the Games.

Carroll mentioned that the conversations with the National Cabinet and State and Federal Governments are ongoing, and that they hope to have an announcement regarding quarantine arrangements soon.

With the Playbook is to be announced later this week, news of the vaccine will be welcomed by Australian athletes and staff, and Carroll is full steam ahead for the Games.

“This will be the worlds biggest reality TV show, and a very different sort of Games,” Carroll said, though he’s still confident that the Games will go ahead smoothly in less than three months.

We expect to hear more news on the Playbook, quarantine arrangements and travel logistics over coming weeks ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

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