Free condoms will be handed to athletes at next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, but competitors have been discouraged from shaking hands and hugging in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Olympics Committee revealed in the events playbook that athletes were required to minimise interaction, and stay within their ‘close loop’ due to worries over the spread of COVID-19.
The IOC playbook revealed the ‘closed loop’ had been introduced to ‘keep Games participants and the people of China safe through reducing unnecessary interactions’.
The playbook read: “A special system has been defined to keep Games participants and the people of China safe through reducing unnecessary interactions, while still allowing you to perform the day-to-day activities essential to your role during the Games.
“This closed loop system allows you to enter China without undergoing a compulsory 21-day quarantine, subject to you being fully vaccinated.”
The games are set to start on Friday, and athletes from all over the world will compete in 15 different sports until Feb. 20.
A report from Reuters however, has confirmed that athletes will all be distributed free condoms upon arrival, following an email from event officials.
The email read: “All Olympic-related units will provide appropriate quantities of condoms for free at the appropriate time to people who’ve checked in to stay inside the loop.”
Reuters also revealed that those included in the free distribution are the world’s media in Beijing to cover the Games, after journalists checking into Guizhou Hotel found five condoms in their room. Free condoms at the event will come as no surprise to athletes and ‘closed loop’ Game goers, with the distribution first starting at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.