The federal authorities has agreed to supply 750 Olympic and Paralympic athletes — together with members of their help employees — exemptions from some quarantine-related journey restrictions within the lead-up to the Olympics, Radio-Canada has realized.
Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault informed Radio-Canada in an unique interview that an settlement has been reached between his authorities, the Canadian Olympic Committee and main sports activities federations to facilitate the return of athletes to Canada.
“We have found a solution to accommodate our high-level athletes and we are working on the terms,” mentioned Guilbeault, including the federal government does not wish to make issues more durable for Canadian athletes.
Details of the exemptions will likely be introduced within the coming days, he mentioned.
The minister mentioned the implementation of the exemptions will likely be swift, since “we already have athletes who are outside and who are about to come back, so we must move quickly on this.”
The exemption will goal athletes that should journey overseas to take part in competitions to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced that travellers returning to Canada must wait as much as three days at a government-approved resort for his or her COVID-19 take a look at outcomes at their very own expense — which he mentioned is predicted to run to greater than $2,000 per individual.
Many Olympic athletes are in no place to cowl such prices, mentioned Quebec middle-distance runner Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, at the moment in Europe competing to construct his world rating.
“In many Olympic sports, the athletes are not in financial situations which allow them to add $2,000 to expenses just like that,” he mentioned.
“We don’t have a choice whether or not to leave the country to take part in our competitions.”
It’s nonetheless not clear whether or not athletes will likely be allowed to forgo the $ 2,000 resort price — one thing the sports activities group has requested.
More versatile quarantine guidelines are additionally being sought by the Olympic committee and main Canadian sports activities federations to permit athletes to proceed their coaching after they return to Canada.
“Taking two weeks out this close to the Olympic Games is is a huge challenge for them,” mentioned Simon Nathan, excessive efficiency director for Athletics Canada.
“In your mind as an athlete, it’s giving all your competitors around you an advantage. You know they’re out doing everything they can, probably training twice a day with their coach. They can just see their rivals not having to do that and … there’s a physical cost to that. And there’s a huge mental cost to that as well.”
The federal authorities has but to state when the brand new restrictions for travellers returning to Canada on worldwide flights will take impact.
This is the primary time the Trudeau authorities has publicly recognized a gaggle that can profit from the easing of restrictions.
Any exemptions to journey restrictions will likely be restricted and focused, Trudeau mentioned final week.
“We’re always going to try to see if there are extreme cases where we can make small exceptions. But even by making exceptions on a case-by-case basis, we are not going to put Canadians at risk,” Trudeau mentioned.