The Olympic Games have always been a unique opportunity for the world to come together on the same stage without regards to political or cultural differences (ideally). Amid a global pandemic, The Olympics live on, but the logistics of attending the Games have certainly become more complicated. Here’s what you need to know if you plan to attend the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics games are scheduled to take place during February 4-20 and March 4-13. Approximately 3,000 athletes from more than 80 countries will be in attendance. Events will occur in venues in Beijing and the surrounding districts.
International spectators are banned from attending the events and attendance by Chinese locals is extremely limited. Strict government lockdowns across China have kept COVID-19 case numbers lower than in most countries, but the Omicron variant has been reported, including in some athletes.
All Olympic athletes, officials and support personnel are required to follow strict COVID-19 testing requirements before they are allowed to depart for China. Two negative PCR test results (with at least 24 hours in between) are required within 96 hours of departure, with one of them required less than 72 hours before departure. China does not require COVID immunization, but unvaccinated arrivals will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. After arrival, all participants are restricted to a “closed loop” system of interaction and will be COVID tested daily.
Don’t forget to visit your travel medicine specialist to review the other health risks of traveling to China. It’s flu season and you should be up to date with your flu shot, as well as routine vaccinations like TdaP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and MMR. All travelers should complete a Hepatitis A series and a typhoid shot is also highly recommended. We have all of these available at TravelBug Health.
Travelers’ diarrhea remains a risk in China, and you should only consume water that is boiled, bottled or treated. Dining options will likely be limited by pandemic restrictions which may reduce your risk of food-borne infections. However, vigilance is still the key to prevention. Choose food items that are fresh, well cooked and served hot.
TravelBug Health is proud to have been designated by the Chinese Consulate General and the Beijing Olympic Committee as a preferred COVID-19 testing site. Our experience includes testing many of the athletes and officials for last year’s Summer Olympics in Japan. Give us a call to schedule your COVID-19 PCR test or pre-travel consultation. Our staff has the expertise to answer your travel health questions or address your unique situation.
Fun fact: Beijing is the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. It was host to the Summer Olympics in 2008.