LOS ANGELES: US athletes taking part in the Beijing Winter Olympics next year must be vaccinated against Covid-19, according to guidelines released by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee on Wednesday. The USOPC rules state that as of November 1, all employees, athletes, contractors and others accessing USOPC facilities must be vaccinated against the coronavirus. By December 1, the mandate will be extended to include all Team USA delegations members or hopefuls for future games. “The health and well-being of our Olympic and Paralympic community continues to be a top priority,” the guidelines said. “This step will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff, and allow us to restore consistency in planning, preparation and optimal service to athletes.” At the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, the USOPC stopped short of mandating Covid-19 vaccines for its members. Around 100 of the 613-athlete US team travelled to Japan without being vaccinated.