The Beijing 2022 Playbooks were released on Monday, outlining the COVID-19 countermeasures that will be put in place for the Winter Olympic Games set to begin in February in the Chinese capital.
Highlighting the Athletes and Team Officials Playbook is the vaccination policy, which will be extremely strict in Beijing.
Vaccination is required 14 days prior to entering China, and if an athlete or team official opts not to get vaccinated, they will be required to quarantine for 21 days in-country, as we previously reported. Two PCR tests will be required within 96 hours of entering China, and upon arrival and daily while at the Games.
In Tokyo, the IOC strongly encouraged athletes to get vaccinated, and many National Olympic Committees, though it was never required.
Vaccines are generally more widely available now than they were in the lead-up to the Tokyo Games in July.
“The IOC and the IPC are working with the NOCs and NPCs to encourage and assist all Games participants in their territories to get vaccinated before they go to China, in line with national immunization guidelines.”
Any exceptions to the vaccination rules in Beijing will only be made for medical reasons as determined by Beijing 2022, the IOC and IPC.
There will also be a closed-loop management system in place, along with the Covid Liaison Officer (CLO) program for all organizations like it was in Tokyo. This will require participants to check in daily on a smartphone app to report their health status.
The Playbook also notes “Masks should be worn at all times when providing assistance to others,” and continually emphasizes limiting physical contact and social distancing whenever possible. It also notes to avoid shouting, cheering and singing—”show support or celebrate by clapping instead.”
The Playbook also outlines that personal data will be collected in order to adhere to the countermeasures:
“Some of the countermeasures in this Playbook require collecting and processing personal data of accredited Games participants. This includes biographical information (such as name, date of birth, accreditation number) and health-related data (such as body temperature, symptoms, health status report, vaccination status).”
China’s number of daily COVID-19 cases has remained relatively under control over the last month. In August, daily case numbers reached 110, nearing the nation’s daily high of 123 from January, but has levelled off and has been between 30-40 new daily cases over the last week.
Mainland China currently has 96,874 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, with 4,636 confirmed deaths.
Globally, after a spike to 700,000 daily cases in August, the current seven-day average indicates just over 400,000 new cases of COVID-19 daily.