China Aims for “Zero COVID” Olympics – The Denver Post

Athletes must be vaccinated – or face a long quarantine – take tests daily and wear masks when not competing or training. It’s OK to clap to cheer on teammates, not to sing. Anyone tested positive for COVID-19 will be sent in isolation and unable to compete before being approved for printing.

Welcome to the Beijing Olympics, where strict containment measures will aim to create a virus-proof “bubble” for thousands of international visitors at a time when omicron is nurturing infections globally.

The prevention protocols will be similar to those at the Tokyo Games this summer, but much tighter. It will not be a stretch in Beijing, where China has maintained a “Zero COVID” policy since early in the pandemic.

Yet China’s ability to stick to its zero-tolerance approach nationally is already being tested by the highly transmissible omicron variant, which is more contagious than previous variants of the virus and better able to avoid vaccine protection.

With just weeks to go before the game launches on February 4, more than 20 million people in six cities are under lockdown following recent outbreaks.

Here’s how the games work.

SHOULD ATHLETES BE VACCINATED?

Yes, athletes and other participants, including team personnel and news media, must be fully vaccinated to be allowed in the designated Olympic areas without completing a 21-day quarantine. These areas will consist of the Olympic Village, venues, other selected locations and dedicated transportation.

It is different from the Tokyo Games, where participants did not need to be vaccinated.

Participants are considered fully vaccinated according to the definitions outlined by their countries. Before boarding their aircraft, everyone must also provide two recent negative tests from approved laboratories.

The threat of being put on the sidelines by a positive test increases the pressure on athletes.

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