A group of Australian Olympic athletes are facing 28 days in quarantine on return from Tokyo in a move slammed as “cruel” and “uncaring” as concerns mount over their mental wellbeing.
All overseas travellers, including the nearly 500-strong Australian team, are required to spend 14 days’ isolation in a hotel or special outback camp on arrival in the country, under strict coronavirus rules.
But some will have to endure double that after the South Australian government ruled those who could not get direct flights to Adelaide from Tokyo must serve another two weeks of home quarantine when they arrive in the state.
There are 56 athletes returning to South Australia with 16 already undergoing quarantine in Sydney, which is currently in a lockdown to try and stem a Delta variant outbreak.
Australian Olympic Committee chief Matt Carroll said it flew in the face of medical advice from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) around the athletes’ mental health.
He said, “While other countries are celebrating the return of their athletes, we are subjecting ours to the most cruel and uncaring treatment.”
The entire Australian team, who won 17 gold medals and 46 in total, are fully vaccinated and were tested for COVID-19 almost daily in Japan.