Eight venues in three competition areas for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have started holding test events on Tuesday, with the first batch of more than 460 bobsled and speed skating athletes and technicians having entered China, authorities from the organizing committee announced Wednesday.
The eight venues will hold the test events for 10 events, three training weeks and two domestic activities in three locations: Beijing proper, Yanqing in suburban Beijing and Zhangjiakou in adjacent Hebei Province.
The tests will be held until December 31 and more than 2,000 overseas athletes, team officials and international technical officials, and scoring professionals will come to China to participate in various events and training.
The Beijing competition area will hold speed skating competitions from October 8 to 10 at the National Speed Skating Hall. The Beijing China Open will feature 12 events, with athletes from China, South Korea and the Netherlands participating.
From October 5 to November 22, the Yanqing competition area will hold an international training week for bobsled and steel bobsled with teams from 35 countries and regions participating. In total, 730 athletes, coaches and team officials would participate in the competition, which was characterized by high standards, a large number of overseas participants, early start time and long duration.
Huang Chun, deputy director of the epidemic prevention and control office of the organizing committee, told media that a large number of people coming to China during the test events will significantly increase the risk of imported epidemic transmission.
To ensure the safe and smooth holding of the test events and better accumulate experience in hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the organizing committee has made comprehensive preparations and detailed arrangements, and formulated epidemic prevention and control policies.
“We encourage overseas personnel to complete the whole course of vaccination and nucleic acid testing,” Huang said.
“Second, closed-loop management will be implemented. All new arrivals to China will be subject to strict inspection and quarantine at the port of entry. They will remain in a closed loop during their stay in China and until they leave China, strictly implementing the process, point-to-point and full-closed-loop management policy,” Huang said.
All participants are required to wear masks throughout the test period, strictly follow the normal prevention and control requirements such as frequent hand washing, cleaning and disinfection, cough etiquette and social distancing, and accept supervision and follow guidance, the official said.
All athletes for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics and all Games participants fully vaccinated will enter a closed-loop management system upon arriving in Beijing. This was part of the key COVID-19 countermeasures the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee presented to the International Olympic Committee Executive Board meeting on September 30.
According to the Beijing 2022 organizers, Games participants who are not fully vaccinated will have to undergo a 21-day quarantine upon arriving in Beijing. All vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization or related international organizations or approved officially by countries or regions concerned will be accepted. Athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered.