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.