The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Beijing 2022) published the first editions of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks today.
The two Playbooks, one for athletes and team officials, and one for all other stakeholders, provide comprehensive COVID-19 guidelines that will help participants prepare for travelling to and arriving in China, fulfilling their roles at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and their departure from Beijing.
Speaking about the Playbooks, Christophe Dubi, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, said: “The Playbooks provide a game plan to help Olympic and Paralympic Games participants, and consequently the local population, stay safe and healthy during Games-time. They have been developed jointly by the IOC, the IPC and Beijing 2022, incorporating the very latest scientific advice and proven countermeasures implemented during the pandemic. This includes important learnings from international sports events held in recent months.”
He continued: “We want everyone at the Games to be safe, that’s why we’re asking all participants to follow these guidelines. Keeping everyone healthy will ensure the focus remains on the very fundamentals of the Olympic and Paralympic Games – the athletes and the sport.”
Colleen Wrenn, the IPC’s Chief Paralympic Games Delivery Officer, said: “The last 12 months in particular have proven that major sport events involving multiple stakeholders from around the world can be held safely providing everyone involved follows the COVID-19 countermeasures outlined by organisers.”
“With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, absolutely no one involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 can afford to be complacent. Therefore, it is critical that everyone planning to attend the Games to follow the principles of the Playbooks which are based on the latest scientific advice and key learnings from other events.”
Han Zirong, Vice President and Secretary General of Beijing 2022, said: “Beijing 2022 welcomes athletes and all other stakeholders from around the world to China to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. After thorough discussion and consultation, the IOC, the IPC and Beijing 2022 jointly developed the first editions of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks. The Playbooks demonstrate the consensus of all parties involved. In developing the Playbooks, we made it a top priority to safeguard the safety and health of all Games participants including athletes, as well as the Chinese people, draw on the experiences from other international sports events, and the COVID-19 policy currently in effect in China. We will work with all stakeholders on the implementation of the Playbooks and together, deliver to the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Games.”
The two Playbooks cover the whole journey of all Games participants, detailing the requirements for entry and the measures that will be in place within the closed-loop management system. This includes further details of the key policies outlined at the recent IOC Executive Board meeting. The key principles outlined in the Playbooks are:
Closed loop management: To allow everyone to perform their day-to-day activities that are essential to their roles during the Games - a special system has been defined to keep Games participants and people in China safe through reducing unnecessary interactions. This closed loop system allows Games participants to enter China without undergoing a compulsory 21-day quarantine, subject to them being fully vaccinated according to the Playbooks.
Vaccination: Vaccines are proven to reduce infection with and transmission of COVID-19 and are a key tool in enabling activities to be carried out safely. It will be mandatory to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure for China, in order to be allowed in the closed loop system without quarantine. Anyone not fully vaccinated according to the Playbooks will need to quarantine for 21 days upon arrival in Beijing. Exceptions may be granted for athletes and team officials on a case-by-case basis, based on medical reasons.
Test, trace and isolate: Strict protocols will be in place to identify who has the COVID-19 virus as early as possible through testing; to understand to whom the virus might have been passed through contact tracing; and to use isolation and quarantine to stop the virus from spreading further.
Minimise Physical Interaction: COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through small liquid particles in our breath exhaled by coughing, sneezing, talking, shouting or singing. That’s why it’s important to be vaccinated, minimise physical interaction, wear a mask, and avoid: spaces that are enclosed, crowded or involve close contact.
Think Hygiene: The basics of good hygiene are important to keeping everyone safe – regularly and thoroughly cleaning our hands, disinfecting surfaces, avoiding touching our face, and wearing a face mask at all times.
COVID-19 Liaison Officers: Every organisation taking part in the Games will soon be asked to nominate COVID-19 Liaison Officer(s) (CLO). The CLO will support Games participants in making sure that they understand the contents of the Playbooks and the importance of complying with them.
The second editions of the Playbooks are planned to be published later this year, ahead of the Olympic Winter Games which will take place between 4 and 20 February 2022 and the Paralympic Winter Games which will be held from 4 until 13 March 2022.
The original article can be found here.