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Beijing 2022: Team GB athletes urged to get Covid booster vaccine ahead of Winter Olympics | Olympics News


British Olympic Association expected to send around 170 athletes and support staff to Beijing for Winter Games; all members of travelling party are double vaccinated but have been urged to receive booster jab; Games start in February

Last Updated: 14/12/21 6:13pm


Team GB chiefs are encouraging athletes to source booster shots ahead of February’s Beijing Winter Olympics as the UK government mulls a rule change that could plunge them into a 21-day quarantine in the Chinese capital.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has confirmed that its total delegation of around 170 athletes and support staff will be double-jabbed for the Games, which as things stand will avert any additional restrictions upon arrival.

But Beijing 2022 rules state that a visitor’s vaccination status must adhere to the official definition of full vaccination in their country of origin – meaning any decision to change the law could require those without boosters to enter quarantine.

Amid the surge in cases of the Omicron variant, Home Secretary Sajid Javid indicated the definition could be changed early in the new year, with three doses required for vaccine passports as soon as those eligible have had “a reasonable chance” to get an additional jab.

With a team of under 60 athletes expected to qualify for Beijing, the BOA would not face anything like the same scramble it endured in the summer, when it ensured all but a handful of its 376-strong squad were vaccinated prior to Tokyo.

The Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing in February

The Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing in February

But it could still have problems depending on when athletes had their second vaccination, with the NHS currently advising a 91-day gap between that second dose and the booster jab.

BOA officials are monitoring the situation but are understood to be confident of their current position ahead of any prospective rule change.

A BOA spokesperson, referencing the guidelines as they currently stand, told the PA news agency: “Team GB will take a fully vaccinated delegation to Beijing 2022.

“Where feasible, we will be encouraging members of the delegation to receive a booster jab ahead of travelling to Beijing. We thank the NHS for their ongoing commitment to keeping us all safe through their outstanding vaccination programme.”

Beijing 2022 rules state: “Participants are considered fully vaccinated according to the requirements of their country/region of residence or national health authority where the vaccine was administered.

“Anyone not fully vaccinated will need to quarantine for 21 days upon arrival in Beijing.”





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