What "hard quarantine" looks like at Tokyo 2020

A 14-day regimen of quarantine awaits those arriving in Japan from overseas ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

(Joseph Campbell) "My colleague and I arrived at Japan's Narita International Airport from Singapore on Thursday (July 1) afternoon. There we underwent a COVID-19 test, and document checks. Before arrival, we had two other COVID-19 tests: one 96 hours beforehand, and another 72 hours ahead of time.

After walking through customs, we were greeted by taxi drivers arranged by our company to transport us to our quarantine hotel, 40 minutes away.

Under Tokyo 2020 protocols, we are forbidden from taking public transport for the first 14 days of quarantine.At check-in, staff secured behind a layer of plastic handed us our room keys and a stack of breakfast buffet coupons for use every morning of our hard quarantine.

We mostly relied on these coupons and food delivery apps.Day one of hard quarantine technically started the next day.

We were allowed to visit the hotel restaurant in the lobby and collect breakfast from the buffet in a takeout box.

The entrance to the restaurant included a body temperature check and disposable plastic gloves for when we went to the buffet. Other hotel guests were dining in the restaurant.I usually piled on plenty of food, enough for breakfast and lunch.

We were given three plastic tubes, each with a bar code, for saliva samples for daily COVID-19 tests. We are also required to input our health condition into an app every day, including our body temperature, and any COVID-like symptoms.

During a previous 14-day quarantine in Singapore, I devised a routine to keep me moving about my room while staying focused on work. I tried my best to stick to the same routine of frequent exercise, coffee and healthy eating, while watching Japanese news programmes to brush up my Japanese.

Rainy weather pervaded throughout most of the three days and my glimpse of the outside world came in the form of the office building just outside my window.

Staff were able to deliver clean towels to my room on a daily basis, but my territory was otherwise deemed off-limits to housekeeping staff.

After three days without a positive COVID-19 test, I was allowed to leave the hotel and walk on over to the Tokyo 2020 main press centre (MPC).

I will be spending the next 11 days in between the same hotel and the MPC, which is only a five-minute walk away, in the lead up to the Olympics. We do not expect to have another COVID-19 test until toward the end of the current quarantine period."

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