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Olympic Games: to face the Covid, Beijing wants a more hermetic bubble than in Tokyo

Olympic Games: to face the Covid, Beijing wants a more hermetic bubble than in Tokyo

The Beijing 2022 Games will be the sporting event with the strongest health restrictions since the start of the Covid epidemic.

Participants will evolve during their stay in China for the JO 2022 in a “closed loop”, tighter than the health bubble created for the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

What is the closed circuit?

China has successfully stopped the epidemic on its soil since mid-2020, thanks to a strategy “Covid zero”, which consists of doing everything (quarantines, confinements, screening, reduction of international flights, mobile monitoring applications) to limit new cases. The organizers of the Winter Olympic Games will apply the same severity. They will develop all participants in what they call a “closed loop”, where are they isolated from the rest of the population.

Athletes, officials, delegations, volunteers: thousands of people will be in this health bubble, from their arrival in Beijing to their departure from the Chinese capital.

At the Tokyo Olympics, the journalists You could come out of the bubble after two weeks and mingle with the locals. But in Beijing, no one will be able to get out of the “closed loop” for the duration of the Games. Including accommodation, meals and travel between the three competition areas, sometimes 180 kilometers apart.

Who will be in it?

Almost every. IN Tokyo, the athletes were also in a bubble. But there was some flexibility for some other participants, such as the army of volunteers who keep the Games running smoothly. Clearly, the Tokyo Olympics certainly had a bubble, but with holes.

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In Beijing, on the other hand, athletes, journalists, maintenance workers, cooks and bus drivers will all be in this sealed bubble. Organizers haven’t said how many people will be inside in total, but there will be close to 3000 athletes.

If the Tokyo Games were to be held in nearly empty stadiums or gymnasiums, spectators will be allowed into Beijing, although their numbers are likely to be limited and none will be able to come from abroad. The public he won’t be in the “closed loop”. Therefore, the organizers must ensure that they do not mix with the athletes and delegations.

What will the rules be?

Tokyo difference: all participants must be fully vaccinated (two doses) or undergo a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in China. The organizers do not impose booster doses. But the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “encourage strongly” to receive it before going to Beijing.

Inside the bubble, everyone will experience a daily screening coronavirus and must wear a mask in all circumstances. In Tokyo, athletes, who took a daily Covid test, were required to keep their masks on even on the podium, but were allowed to briefly remove them to take photos after the medal ceremony. The organizers of the Beijing Olympics should renew this rule.

The IOC also advises participants “Minimize physical interactions like hugging people, clapping, or shaking hands”. The organizers have made it clear that those who don’t follow the rules can be Return games.