Tokyo: Australian Paralympic representatives appear to have been spared the nightmare scenario of having to go through two blocks of two-week quarantine like their Olympic counterparts.
The Australian Olympic Committee was furious last month when it learned the South Australian government had imposed additional quarantine provisions on athletes returning home to South Australia via Sydney.
Despite pleas for exemptions, a number of athletes and staff were required to undergo a second 14-day block of hotel quarantine in South Australia on top of two weeks in Sydney.
The news was a cause for concern for Paralympics Australia, who were keen to avoid that scenario. As recently as last week, some athletes and staff in Tokyo from affected states had conceded they would have to spend 28 days on their own.
After discussions with various state governments, notably South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, plus the Northern Territory, Paralympics Australia has been told that provided athletes do their quarantine in Melbourne, they will be free to return to their home states without having to do another period of quarantine.
The Paralympics conclude on Sunday.
However, Australian chef de mission Kate McLoughlin was unable to give 100 per cent certainty, given rising COVID-19 case numbers in Victoria, over where athletes will fly into.
“It has [been resolved] at this point in time,” McLoughlin told the Herald. “Anyone from South Australia or WA, anyone with the potential to double quarantine if they went through Sydney, we’ve moved them to the Melbourne [charter] flight.
“There is always a chance that, depending on numbers, when we get back in, a couple of governments change their mind. We’ve done everything in our power to mitigate the risk with what we know right now. They’ve all been allocated hotel quarantine. We’ve moved people onto the flights so they won’t have to double quarantine.”