Be ‘additional vigilant’, Olympic chiefs urge members

Stakeholders dismiss any thought of postponement of Beijing Winter Games amid Covid surge


Olympic chiefs on Wednesday urged all members at subsequent month’s Winter Games in Beijing to be “extra vigilant” as Covid-19 infections hit unprecedented case ranges in a number of international locations.

At a closed-door assembly with nationwide Olympic committees, Beijing 2022 organisers, and worldwide federations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) dismissed any thought of a postponement of the February 4-20 Games due to coronavirus.

Everything is on observe to stage a protected Olympic Winter Games for all members and the Chinese individuals, reported Juan Antonio Samaranch, chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022.

But within the face of a surge of the Omicron pressure of Covid-19, notably throughout Europe and within the United States, IOC president Thomas Bach mentioned: “We must do everything to ensure that the Olympic dreams of athletes are not taken away just days before departure.”

Bach added that so-called “playbooks”, a kind of guide on Covid rules and rules for pre-departure and in place in Beijing, should turn out to be “not just a rule book, but a way of life in the lead-up to Beijing 2022”.

“Now is a critical time for all Games participants who will travel to Beijing to be extra vigilant,” the IOC mentioned in a press release after the assembly that comes simply 30 days forward of the Games’ opening ceremony within the Chinese capital.

“They should already follow the measures laid out in the Beijing 2022 playbooks, before their departure to Beijing.”

Britain, the United States, France, and Australia have all introduced file case numbers in latest days, whereas China has imposed lockdowns in two cities and rolled out mass testing for tens of millions because it doubles down on its “zero Covid” coverage forward of Beijing 2022.

As on the Tokyo Summer Olympics, postponed by a yr to 2021, the IOC will bid to reach a steadiness between well being and security and sporting equity.

Only the unvaccinated must endure a quarantine of 21 days on arrival, whereas athletes and Games members who check optimistic for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic will probably be discharged from quarantine as soon as they’ve two consecutive destructive PCR check outcomes inside a minimum of 24 hours between the 2 samples and no different Covid signs.

They will then be launched into the close-contact administration system, the IOC mentioned, which suggests testing twice a day, however allowed as a detailed contact to hold on their important actions associated to the Games with out being remoted.

“For athletes, that means they would be able to continue training and competing,” the IOC mentioned.

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