Arrests at Sydney protest
Brady Ellison, one of the US athletes to speak out in favour of a colleague who has refused to get vaccinated, has said:
It’s one hundred percent a personal choice, and anyone that says otherwise is taking away people’s freedoms. I said if they made it mandatory that I wouldn’t come.
The US Olympic team’s chief medical officer said on Friday 83% of nearly 600 US athletes to submit health checks had received a shot, but the entire team would be treated as if unvaccinated.
Reuters quoted Ellison’s team-mate Mackenzie Brown as saying she was not vaccinated either.
Getting a shot is something there hasn’t been enough testing in. I would have opted out for the Games if I had to get the vaccine as well.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccines available have gone through rigorous testing.
Both archers said they were complying with protocols – from wearing masks on the field to being tested every day. Ellison, who is aiming for his first Olympic gold, said he tested himself regularly long before he came to Tokyo.
I don’t feel like we’re a danger to society. I’ve been getting tested once or twice a week since April.
A further Covid case detected at Tokyo Olympics
Another athlete in Tokyo has tested positive, Olympics organisers have said, as Olympics-related cases rose by 17.
They have come under pressure for allowing the Games to go ahead amid the pandemic. Nevertheless, two US archers have defended a colleague who was heavily criticised for not getting vaccinated, saying people are free to choose.
There have now been 123 Olympics-related cases.
In the UK, the BBC reports that airlines and airports are having their busiest weekend since the pandemic began. Many schools have now closed and the summer holidays are beginning for millions. Heathrow airport expects 60,000 passengers to depart daily, while Gatwick says it expects 250 flights a day, up from a low of just 15, the broadcaster reports.
But some people who were hoping to head to France in the coming weeks are being told they will lose their money if they do not turn up, my colleague Miles Brignall reports. Last weekend’s surprise decision by the UK government to require travellers returning from France to quarantine for 10 days – even those doubly vaccinated against Covid-19 – has left thousands of holiday plans in tatters, and many out of pocket as a result.