Vietnam, the hosting country of the 31st Southeast Asian Games has imposed a requirement for all participating athletes to undergo COVID-19 vaccination for them to be cleared to play.
The Vietnam SEA Games Organizing Committee made the announcement during an online SEA Games Federation meeting on Tuesday, May 18.
According to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Vietnam assured athletes and officials that the regional biennial meet will push through on November 21 to December 2, 2021, in Hanoi, but stressed the “no vaccine, no participation” policy.
“Most of the athletes from our Southeast Asian counterparts are already vaccinated and we’re the only country that is left behind,” Tolentino said. “But we already wrote the IATF to prioritize the SEA Games-bound delegates. We’re ready to take any vaccine [brand].
The Philippines intends to send 626 athletes to the SEA Games. They will participate in all but one of the 40 sports on the Hanoi program.
Tolentino said the POC has a $40,000 (P1.9 million) grant from the Olympic Council of Asia that would be used for the procurement of vaccines.