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Paris Olympics lifts intimacy ban for athletes and is stocking up on 300,000 condoms

The intimacy ban that had been in place for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been lifted for the 2024 Paris Olympics, and the Olympic village, where the athletes stay during the event, will be stocked with 300,000 condoms, Laurent Michaud, director of the village, told Sky News.

In an interview about the upcoming games, which will be held in the French capital from July 26 to Aug. 11, Michaud said they are preparing for 14,250 residents at the village and are aiming to have 300,000 condoms for the athletes. 

Rules on intimacy went into effect for the 2020 Olympics that were held in Tokyo, Japan in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help prevent the virus from spreading, athletes were asked to limit their physical contact with each other, keeping about six and a half feet between them, except when necessary, like on the field.

Providing condoms at the Olympics has been a tradition since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, as an effort to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS, according to CBS Sports. In Tokyo, officials still handed out 150,000 condoms – even though the intimacy rules prevented any scenarios to use them.

“The distribution of condoms is not for use at the athletes’ village, but to have athletes take them back to their home countries to raise awareness [of HIV and AIDS],” Olympic organizers told Reuters at the time.

As part of the COVID-19 guidelines, athletes were only allowed to leave their accommodations to attend the competitors and under a few other circumstances. They were asked to avoid unnecessary forms of touch like handshakes and hugs and people watching the games were asked not to sing or chant – only clap.

The athletes were asked to avoid others for 14 days before they arrived and the first 14 days they were there. They also had periodic health checks, had to wear masks and were asked to wash their hands often. Those who broke the rules were subjected to consequences from the International Olympic Committee, not being allowed to participate in competitions. 

They had to prepare a list of people they expected to come in close contact with during the games. The amount of people even allowed at the Olympics was limited and there were no spectators in the stands.

The World Health Organization ended the global COVID-19 health emergency in 2023 and this year, the Center for Disease Control amended its COVID-19 guidelines, creating a”unified, practical approach to addressing risk” from the virus alongside influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and shortening the isolation period. 

Michaud said they want the athletes in Paris to have everything they need in the village, so they built a sports bar – but there will be no alcohol. “But it’s going to be a great place so they can share their moment and the environment here,” he said. “No champagne in the village, of course, but they can have all the champagne they want to in Paris.”

The Olympic village will be located about 4 miles north of the city’s center, providing athletes and staff a convenient place to stay and socialize during the games. 

CBS News has reached out to the IOC for more information and is awaiting response. 

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