Oct 25, 2021 - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing.

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

  • In order to avoid the quarantine, people will be required to be fully vaccinated 14 days before their arrival in China. Daily COVID-19 tests will also be required regardless of vaccination status.
  • The IOC initially announced plans for the quarantine last month but included additional details in its "playbooks" published Monday.

What they're saying: "We want everyone at the Games to be safe, that’s why we’re asking all participants to follow these guidelines," Christophe Dubi, IOC's Olympic Games executive director, said Monday.

  • "Keeping everyone healthy will ensure the focus remains on the very fundamentals of the Olympic and Paralympic Games — the athletes and the sport," he added.

The big picture: Vaccinated athletes, staff members and journalists won't have to quarantine, but they will only be allowed to move between permitted destinations "to keep Games participants and the people of China safe through reducing unnecessary interactions," the IOC said.

  • The rules were created by the IOC, Beijing organizers and China's government.
  • The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced last month that effective Nov. 1, all employees, athletes, contractors and others must be fully vaccinated or obtain a religious or medical exemption prior to accessing USOPC facilities, including Olympic training centers.
  • As of Dec. 1, "this mandate will also extend to all Team USA delegation members or hopefuls for future Games," the USOPC said.

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