: The government has given special flexibility to athletes involved in the Road to Tokyo 2020 program to undergo preparatory training to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the training was valid from June 1 to 30.
He said the special relaxation involved 265 individuals including 57 athletes who would undergo training sessions at three centralised training camps.
“Although there are 265 individuals, they are not grouped in one place but are separated into three training camps namely at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex involving 181 individuals, the Badminton Academy of Malaysia in Bukit Kiara (56 individuals) and the National Sailing Training Centre in Langkawi (28 individuals).
“The Centralised Training Camp will start from June 1 to June 30 as the first phase. COVID-19 screenings will be done during registration.
"The standard operating procedure (SOP) is very strict. On the day of registration, they have to undergo screening, the negative ones will continue with training and the positive ones will be sent to hospital," he told a media conference here on Tuesday.
Ismail Sabri said the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) would adopt the quarantine approach for 30 days, meaning that the athletes could not leave once they entered the training centre.
"One month in terms of health is twice the incubation period.
"So, if there are no symptoms for a month, it can be considered as free from COVID-19 infection.
"Even if they are incubated for a month, before they finish training and come out, they will be screened again," he said.
He added that a monitoring committee chaired by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Reezal Merican Naina Merican was set up to ensure the implementation of the Centralised Training Camp in accordance with the SOP.
"Badminton training, for example, in terms of distance to the rest of the courts, may be there will be an empty court between them, all of which will be observed so that we can avoid infection to the athletes.
"We feel there is a need for the athletes to train because they represent the country to the Olympics, which is why we allow them to train but with a very tight SOP," he said.