Canada has joined the United States in requiring that all potential members of its team for Beijing 2022 be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We know that the best way to keep athletes, staff, and the communities we live, train and compete in safe, is for all members of Team Canada to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Canadian Olympic Committee CEO and secretary general David Shoemaker said in a statement.
He added that the recent announcement by the Canadian federal government that all air travelers must be fully vaccinated by October 30, 2021 also played a role in the decision.
“We brought 840 people to and from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games without a single positive case, and we want to do the same for Beijing. A fully vaccinated team following robust hygiene and physical distancing protocols is the best way to do that,” Shoemaker added.
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced last month that all its athletes hoping to compete in Beijing will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Late last month, Beijing 2022 organizers said there was no mandatory vaccination requirement but those who are not fully vaccinated would have to spend 21 days in quarantine upon arrival into China.
Among other major Winter Olympics countries, Russia last month said it would recommend vaccination for all athletes but stopped short of making it mandatory. Norway has also said it would not require vaccination.
Germany has said it is waiting for the release of the Beijing 2022 Playbook before making a decision.
The Playbook, which will provide details of the COVID-19 protocols for Beijing, is expected to be released before the end of October.