Winter Olympics: China Eases Covid Testing Rules

Story Highlights
  • Officials eased COVID Testing norms for participants in Winter Olympics.
  • Two recent negative test reports mandated to arrive in China.
  • Out of the 3,000 Olympic participants arrived, 106 tested positive since 4th January.

Beijing: As the organisers of the Beijing Winter Olympics eased the Covid-19 testing requirement for participants, here’s how the strategy works. As per the new norms, all athletes, team officials, staff and journalists need to provide two recent negative tests before heading to China. They will be tested again at the airport before heading to their Olympic sites. During the Games, everyone will get daily throat swabs for PCR lab tests, with results coming back within a day. And most importantly all athletes must and should be vaccinated, failure to do so may force the authorities to direct them towards isolation for a period of three weeks.

Of more than 3,000 Olympic arrivals, 106 have tested positive for the virus since 4 January. According to Dr Brian McCloskey, the chair of the Beijing 2022 Olympics medical expert panel, a sharp surge in the count is expected.

The upcoming Winter Olympics are expected to be the world’s strictest mass sporting event yet. It has completely isolated Games participants from the broader public – by containing all athletes, team officials, media and other attendees in vast “closed-loop” bubbles for the event’s fortnight.

People arriving for the Games have to clear Covid tests pre-departure, upon arrival and every day while at the Games. So far, it is reported that 39 positive results out of the more than 2,500 tests at the airport were among those who arrived since early January. Within the bubble, there have been 33 positives out of 336,400 tests. None of the positives involved athletes.

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