It is being reported in Japan that the Government is to consider easing of restrictions on the inbound travel of athletes and officials preparing to take part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Summer of 2021.
Japan currently has a banned list of 118 countries from which travel is not permitted. Ireland is on that list as are all other European Countries.
Single and multiple entry visas have been suspended.
Japan has only 20,174 recorded cases of Coronavirus, 20 per cent less in number than we have in ireland despite a population that is 126 million.
Any threat to what has therefore been a very well controlled spread of the virus will obviously be treated with caution but there is an acceptance that if the Games are to go ahead in a little over 12 months time that some easing of restriction, even in very limited circumstances will be needed.
Whether that will prompt athletes themselves to step back into international travel is another matter but with rates as low as they currently are it may be statistically safer than popping down the road to your local supermarket.
Ireland expects to have a team of over 100 athletes going to the Olympic Games as well as a strong representation at the Paralympic games as well.
It is likely that it will be our best ever prepared team and hopes have to remain that the work which has gone into getting this far will be rewarded with at least the opportunity to bid for glory.