24th September 2021
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has said that all athletes competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics must be vaccinated against Covid-19. NEW
United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, USOPC, guidelines say the “health and well-being” of all athletes is “top priority”.
The Winter Olympics take place from 4th-20th February, with the Paralympics 4th-13th March.
“This step will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff, and allow us to restore consistency in planning, preparation and optimal service to athletes,” the USOPC added.
From 1st November, all employees, athletes, contractors and others accessing the organisation’s facilities must be fully vaccinated unless they have an exemption.
Individuals can apply for a medical or religious exemption.
Any vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization will be accepted.
Those who are exempt will need to take a daily Covid-19 test.
The International Olympic Committee has not yet decided on whether all athletes and coaches need to be vaccinated for the 2022 Winter Games.
Inside the Games reports that Norway will not order its athletes to be vaccinated as most already are. All of Italy’s athletes are said to be jabbed while Finland is encouraging all its athletes to get jabbed. Germany and Sweden are awaiting the decision of the IOC.
Currently the IOC says it will offer jabs to athletes who are set to compete at the Winter Olympic Games under a similar programme to the one in place for Tokyo 2020.
American athletes did not have to be vaccinated at the Tokyo 2020 Games.