Australian athletes who are returning from the Tokyo Olympics to South Australia via Sydney are facing a 28-day quarantine which has been labelled “cruel” and “uncaring”.
All overseas arrivals into Australia are required to quarantine for 14 days, but Olympic athletes doing the specific journey to the state are currently forced to do an extra two weeks by the South Australian government.
The government said that due to the Delta strain of Covid-19 engulfing the state of New South Wales, which has forced its capital Sydney into lockdown, is the reason for the additional measures.
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"Due to the high risk of the Delta strain of Covid-19 in NSW, anyone travelling from New South Wales must undertake 14 days quarantine upon entry into South Australia," the state said in a statement.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) requested the South Australian government for an exemption, but it has been rejected.
The AOC said: "While other countries are celebrating the return of their athletes, we are subjecting ours to the most cruel and uncaring treatment.
They are being punished for proudly representing their country with distinction at the Olympic Games.
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The AOC said 56 members of the Australian Olympic team were returning to South Australia and 16 were already undergoing part one of quarantine in Sydney.
AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said: "Not only are our Olympians fully vaccinated, but they have also been living in a highly controlled bubble in Tokyo, taking the utmost precautions, tested daily over many weeks.
"We have received no explanation as to why our application on behalf of these athletes has been rejected."
At the time of writing, Australia has had less than 37,000 Covid-19 cases with the death toll under 1,000.
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