News Papua New Guinea

PNGOC imposes mandatory vaccination

The Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) has announced that COVID-19 vaccination is now a mandatory requirement for athletes and officials that are vying for international representative duties under Team PNG effectively.

With Team PNG looking to attend two Games in 2022, the PNGOC Board has passed a resolution of making vaccination mandatory to be a part of Team PNG to the upcoming Pacific Mini Games, Commonwealth Games, Pacific Games and the Olympic Games.

Secretary General Auvita Rapilla in sharing the updated Team PNG Selection Policies for Athletes and Officials said that this was important in not only safeguarding athletes and officials but also to meet international travel requirements for Games and to enter other countries.

“We understand that it is an individual’s decision to be vaccinated however, to travel internationally, you will need to be vaccinated to board an aircraft or enter other countries” added Rapilla.

Rapilla emphasised that, with this mandatory requirement now formally part of the Team PNG Selection policy and requirements, this automatically exempts individuals that are not vaccinated.

Although it is mandatory, there are exceptions based on the individual being given exemption from receiving the vaccination from an approved authority.

 The updated Team PNG Selection policy includes covering the period of 2021-2024 and includes the 2022 Pacific Mini Games, 2022 Commonwealth Games, 2022 Asian Games, 2023 Pacific Games and the 2024 Olympic Games.

 In addition, team officials are required to complete online training including anti-doping, athlete safeguarding, prevention of competition manipulation and OSEP training for coaches and team managers.

With Team PNG’s Selection Policies now finalised, PNGOC will finalise the endorsement of National Federation’s Sport Specific selection policies and have them published on PNGOC’s website.

The Committee is currently working closely with the respective National Federations to finalise their Sport specific selection policies.

They are also working closely with the recently appointed Chief medical officers for the respective Games to arrange awareness sessions with targeted athletes and officials for Team PNG around COVID-19 vaccination.

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