Tokyo Olympics: New Zealand Olympic Committee secures COVID-19 saliva tests for athletes

  • 22/04/2021

The New Zealand Olympic team will have access to saliva PCR tests for COVID-19 before their departure for the Tokyo Games.

Japanese government immigration require all athletes and staff to provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of leaving for the event, starting in July.

"We're delighted to have access to a fast, accurate and non-invasive test for our teams departing for Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022," says NZ Olympic Committee chief executive Kereyn Smith.

"We will need to process some 1000-plus tests in the pre-departure window, so we're pleased to have Rako Science to help us achieve these."

The Rako Science saliva test is New Zealand's only scientifically validated test and the company's contracted medical testing laboratory has been accredited by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) to process the tests.

"We’re very pleased to be providing New Zealand’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes with this important development in COVID-19 PCR testing," says Rako Science director Leon Grice.

"We want them to have access to the very best in science and technology, before they head off to Tokyo and Beijing," 

"We want the athletes to have the best experience possible as they leave New Zealand, so they can focus on representing New Zealand and achieving their Olympic dreams."

New Zealand's Olympic athletes also have early access to COVID-19 vaccination under the Government's national significance category.