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CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Tokyo Summer Olympics logo
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) says that American athletes are still able to go to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games despite recent travel advisories that suggested differently.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new travel advisory for those planning trips to Japan, ahead of the Olympics this summer. "Travelers should avoid all travel to Japan," the CDC advised Monday.
In response, the USOPC said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE that it had "been made aware of the updated State Department advisory as it relates to Japan."
"We feel confident that the current mitigation practices in place for athletes and staff by both the USOPC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, coupled with the testing before travel, on arrival in Japan, and during Games time, will allow for safe participation of Team USA athletes this summer," the organization added.
The Games are set to begin on July 23 despite resistance within Japan due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the country. The country just extended its state of emergency on May 14 after entering a third lockdown in April.
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Man in mask standing near Olympic rings in Tokyo
The CDC currently has Japan listed as level 4, which is "very high" in terms of COVID-19 infections.
"Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan," the CDC warned. "If you must travel to Japan, get fully vaccinated before travel."
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Despite increased calls from doctors and business leaders in Japan to cancel the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has remained steadfast in moving forward.
At a meeting for the IOC last Friday, John Coates, the chair of the IOC's Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, said, "It has become clearer than ever that these Games will be safe for everyone participating and the Japanese people."
"After nearly eight years of hard work and planning, the finish line is within touching distance. It is testament to the hard work of the Tokyo 2020 organisers, including the Japanese Government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese people, that we are able to look towards the Opening Ceremony on 23 July with such confidence," he continued. "We will continue to work hand in hand with our Japanese partners to do everything possible to deliver safe and secure Games for everyone."
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Meanwhile, Tokyo organizing committee President Seiko Hashimoto, a former Olympic medalist, said in a statement, "Preparations for safe and secure Games are proceeding steadily, but I am aware that we must work all the harder to ensure that the people of Tokyo and Japan also feel that sense of safety and security."
"In response to any concerns, we are moving forward to tighten our planning in three fields. First, tight limitations on the number of participants entering Japan. Second, tight enforcement of the code of conduct and of health monitoring. And third, a tight review and reconsideration of the Games-time medical system," she continued. "There are 63 days left until the Games. In that time, we will work unstintingly to implement these plans and deliver Olympic and Paralympic Games that are truly for everyone."
The IOC also assured in the press release that 75 percent of the current Olympic Village residents are "vaccinated or have secured vaccination" and they estimated the number will climb to 80 percent before the Games begin.
If the Games continue as scheduled, they will begin on July 23 and end on Aug. 8.
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