Beijing presents pandemic prevention policy to IOC executives
On 29 September, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held an Executive Board (EB) meeting chaired by President Bach, in the presence of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons. Beijing 2022 presented the key COVID-19 countermeasures for the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Facing the uncertainty of the global COVID-19 situation, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Beijing 2022), the IOC and the IPC are working closely together to address the situation and to keep the stakeholders informed. To ensure the safety and health of athletes and all stakeholders, Beijing 2022 has always prioritised COVID-19 prevention and control to ensure that the Games are held safely as scheduled.
The principles presented in the IOC Executive Board meeting were as follows:
•All athletes and Games participants who are fully vaccinated will enter the closed-loop management system upon arrival. Games participants who are not fully vaccinated will have to serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in Beijing.
•Athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered.
•All vaccines recognised by WHO or related international organisations, or approved officially by countries or regions concerned will be accepted.
2.Games-time closed-loop management
•From 23 January until the end of the Paralympics, a closed-loop management system will be implemented to ensure the safe delivery of the Games. This closed-loop management system will cover all Games related areas, including arrival and departure, transport, accommodation, catering, competitions, and the Opening and Closing ceremonies. Within the closed-loop, participants will be allowed to move only between Games related venues for training, competitions and work. A dedicated Games transport system will be put in place.
•Given the grave and complicated situation of COVID-19 globally, and to prevent a potential spread of the virus and ensure the safety of all Games participants, no tickets will be sold to spectators from outside China’s mainland. Tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland who meet the requirements of COVID-19 countermeasures.
•Specific requirements on COVID-19 countermeasures for spectators from China’s mainland and the details of ticketing arrangements are under discussion and development, and will be released to the public in due course once they are finalised.
4.Accredited guest policy
•Beijing 2022 and IOC underlined that all activities are being assessed and optimised to focus on essential aspects of Games delivery. Stakeholders will apply this principle for their plans and delegation composition.
•In line with this principle, the IOC EB decided to cancel the accompanying guest category for all stakeholders.
•Besides athletes and some delegation officials who are accompanying athletes living in the Villages, all participants travelling to Beijing will reside in Beijing 2022-contracted hotels that will be compliant with the COVID-19 countermeasures for the Games.
•All domestic and international Games participants and workforce in the closed-loop management system will be subject to daily testing.
In addition, Beijing 2022 will assist those stakeholders that are not in a position to book their pre-Games or Games-time flights independently. Beijing 2022 will release the first version of the Playbooks in late October and the second version in December. The related policies will be detailed in the Playbooks.
Preparations for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games continue to proceed in an orderly and consistent manner. By the end of 2020, all competition venues had been completed on schedule, and all non-competition venues are on-schedule for delivery in 2021. In February and April 2021, the “Experience Beijing” Series domestic ice and snow test activities were successfully hosted. From October to December, ten international test events, two domestic test activities, and three international training weeks will be organised to test all elements of Games preparations and to gain more experience for Games operations.