KLM staff not tested for Covid before flight to Olympics
The crew on KLM flight KL861 was not tested for coronavirus infections before the flight that transported a large number of Dutch athletes to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Dutch airline confirmed to RTL Nieuws.
By Monday six members of TeamNL have so far tested positive for Covid-19, including five who were on board that flight to Japan. On Tuesday morning, Japanese media reported that two more athletes tested positive, including a Dutch tennis player. Bloomberg reported a total of seven new infections, including the two athletes.
KLM complied with all the guidelines, a spokesperson for the airline said to the broadcaster. "The Dutch government has Japan on the list of safe countries, so personnel do not have to be tested. Japan does require a temperature check before arrival and on departure. Crew members can stay in the country for a maximum of 72 hours." He added that "there has been no contamination in our crew".
Newspaper AD, which had two reporters on flight KL861, reported that the Olympic athletes were kept separate from other passengers before departure, but were mixed in with everyone else on the plane. KLM told the newspaper that it consulted with sports umbrella organization NOC*NSF about the transport of athletes.
KLM also told AD that it is likely that the post-flight coronavirus infections happened during hours of waiting in a quarantine room at Narita airport in Tokyo.
TeamNL tightened the measures against the spread of the coronavirus in the Olympic village where the Dutch team is staying, in an effort to prevent further infections. Athletes and other team members are no longer allowed to use the lounge to relax in, and the indoor training room is now also out of bounds, Hessel Everste, technical director of the rowing association, said to RTL Nieuws.