Beijing 2022: US athletes told they must be vaccinated against Covid-19

Beijing 2022: US athletes told they must be vaccinated against Covid-19

Team USA
US athletes did not need to be vaccinated to compete in the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

United States athletes competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have been told they must be vaccinated against Covid-19.

American athletes did not have to be vaccinated at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

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 4-20 February with the Paralympics following from 4-13 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.

USOPC rules state that as of 1 November, all employees, athletes, contractors and others accessing its facilities must be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

It said it would consider exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Unvaccinated individuals who receive an exemption will be required to have daily Covid-19 tests, which will be paid for by the USOPC.

Around 100 of the 613 athletes representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics had not received the Covid-19 vaccine.

The International Olympic Committee has not yet instructed any athletes to be vaccinated in order to take part in future events.

US swimmer Michael Andrew was criticised at Tokyo 2020external-link for being unvaccinated and not wearing a facemask during interviews.

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