Authorities in China have imposed strict restrictions ahead of the arrival of thousands of athletes and their teams for the Games, which begin on February 4
Athletes attending the Beijing Winter Olympics must be vaccinated or quarantined for 21 days, under China’s “zero Covid” policy.
Chinese authorities have taken strict measures as thousands of international travelers arrive amid the global surge of Omicron to the games.
The games begin on February 4, with more than 20 million people in six cities in China currently locked down following outbreaks of the virus.
Athletes and team officials traveling to the Games must be fully vaccinated to enter certain Olympic areas.
Otherwise, they will have to spend 21 days in quarantine and will not be allowed to enter the Olympic Village or the venues.
All athletes will be tested for Covid upon arrival at Beijing airport before being transferred to their whereabouts while awaiting the results.
Daily testing will also be conducted during the games, with anyone who tests positive having to go to a quarantine hotel and participants wearing masks when not competing or training.
The rules for vaccinations are different from last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, where athletes did not have to be vaccinated.
Earlier this week, Huang Chun, an official in charge of disease control at the Winter Olympics, said organizers rely on the cooperation of athletes and officials to prevent outbreaks of infection.
Mr. Chun said: “If there is a mass cluster transmission, it will certainly have an impact on the games and the schedule.
“The worst-case scenario, if it happens, is independent of people’s will, so we’re keeping our options open.”
China has been suspected of tightening quarantine measures on its own citizens because of the Beijing games, with reports of food shortages and deadly delays at hospitals surfacing.
Around 1.2 million people in the city of Yuzhou in central Henan Province were placed under lockdown earlier this month after three Covid cases were found.
Similar curbs were imposed on 31 million people in the northern city of Xi’an.
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, said I: “I think part of their desperate need to keep Covid out or see it as a control is that they are worried about the Olympics.
“The price they pay in China is that people will starve, there will be insufficient support for social care and other health-related problems.
“The way to deal with that is to completely stab as many people as possible.”
Britain has joined the US and Australia in announcing a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China over its “cruel” human rights record.