The Olympic Winter Games will take place between 4 and 20 February 2022, and the Paralympic Winter Games will be held from 4 until 13 March 2022 in Beijing. But we already know that COVID-19 will present incredible challenges.
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 second edition of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks last week. This is designed to help athletes navigate getting to and competing in Beijing.
These guidelines will help athletes, team officials and all other participants finalise planning for their travel to and arrival in Beijing, their time at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and when departing from China.
The latest updates provide, for example, 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.
Speaking about this latest release, Christophe Dubi, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, said: “Together with the IPC and Beijing 2022, we have worked closely with the world’s leading experts in health and sports event delivery to finalise and put in place the necessary COVID-19 countermeasures that will enable the Games to take place safely and successfully.”
He continued: “By creating a secure environment, this will provide a unique Games-time experience, designed to 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. ”
Supplementing the key principles outlined in the first edition of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks, the second edition includes information requested directly by stakeholders and from feedback received during various briefings held since October. This approach provides transparency and ensures that all participants understand what is expected of them, having been involved in the development process.
Colleen Wrenn, the IPC’s Chief Paralympic Games Delivery Officer, said: “The second version of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks is a result of the continued close partnership and collaboration established between the IOC, Beijing 2022 and the IPC. 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.”
Han Zirong, Vice President and Secretary General of Beijing 2022, said: “After full consultation and extensive discussion, Beijing 2022, the IOC and the IPC jointly formulated the second edition of the Playbooks on the basis of refining and perfecting the first edition of the Playbooks. 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. 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. We hope everyone can strictly abide by the Playbooks and work together to deliver to the world simple, safe and splendid Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
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.