With less than two months to go before the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the organizing committee, together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), published the second edition of the Playbook that outlines COVID-19 countermeasures for the Games.
Like the first edition, the Playbook offers separate versions for athletes and team officials, as well as other stakeholders, including the Olympic and Paralympic Family, press and broadcasters, International Federations (IFs) and the general workforce.
The latest updates include information requested directly by stakeholders and from feedback received during various briefings held since October, with additional information about vaccinations; customs entry requirements; flight booking; pre-departure testing; the pre-Games period; the closed-loop system; accommodation; transport; food and beverage; screening testing; health monitoring; close contact management; and the period between the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
A "Key points to remember" section is also included to help guide stakeholders through each stage of their Games-time experience.
"The measures outlined in the Playbooks are formulated in accordance with the latest COVID-19 scientific research, expert opinions and the experience of other international competitions," explained Beijing 2022 vice president and secretary general Han Zirong.
"We believe that these countermeasures can effectively reduce the risk of COVID-19; ensure that athletes and all Olympic and Paralympic participants can safely and conveniently engage in training, competition and work during the Beijing 2022 Games; and protect the health and safety of the local population," she added.
"We hope everyone can strictly abide by the Playbooks and work together to deliver to the world a simple, safe and splendid Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games."
Christophe Dubi, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, noted that these COVID-19 countermeasures, put in place after consultation with leading global health experts, are key to the safety and success of the Games.
"By creating a secure environment, this will provide a unique Games-time experience, and help athletes fully focus on the fundamentals of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games - sports competition."
"This guides all our planning and will ensure that the attention remains on the outstanding performances we can expect from the world's best winter athletes in Beijing next year," he said.
Colleen Wrenn, the IPC's Chief Paralympic Games Delivery Officer, said: "With the experience gained in the delivery of major events around the world and the input of medical experts, we are confident the measures outlined in the Playbooks will allow participants to take part in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games while protecting their health. Crucially, also, the Playbooks are designed to safeguard the health of all participants and the people of China."
According to the organizers, further policies and briefings will continue to be provided over the coming weeks. Acknowledging the continually evolving global health situation, any additional, necessary countermeasures will be implemented right up to and during Games time, to ensure the safety of all the participants and the local population.
The Olympic Winter Games will take place between February 4 and 20, 2022, and the Paralympic Winter Games will be held from March 4 to 13.