all scores

Athletes to have daily COVID-19 tests at Winter Olympics

(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Competitors at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, set to run from Feb. 4 through Feb. 20, will be tested daily for COVID-19, according to guidelines released on Monday.

Athletes will also be required to remain within a “closed loop” that includes transport between the different Games venues. The measure is designed to reduce unnecessary interactions and keep competitors safe.

China has already said it will not allow international spectators, having all but shut its borders to international travelers. Olympic organizers backed that up on Monday, saying that domestic and foreign airlines will be encouraged to operate temporary flights available only to Olympics participants.

Competitors will be tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival, and while vaccinations are not mandatory, athletes who are not vaccinated must agree to a 21-day quarantine. Exceptions for medical reasons will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Some national Olympic committees, including the U.S. and Canada, are requiring vaccination.

“We want everyone at the Games to be safe, that’s why we’re asking all participants to follow these guidelines,” IOC Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said in a statement. “Keeping everyone healthy will ensure the focus remains on the very fundamentals of the Olympic and Paralympic Games — the athletes and the sport.”

Additionally, competitors will be encouraged to wear masks and avoid enclosed, crowded or close-contact spaces. Each organization taking part in the Olympics will also be asked to nominate COVID-19 liaison officers.