Overseas spectators banned from attending Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022
Overseas fans have been banned from attending the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics while all unvaccinated athletes will be quarantined for 21 days ahead of the games, scheduled to begin on February 4.
Tickets for the games will only be sold to mainland residents, which means domestic spectators will be allowed to watch the games following the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which was mostly played out in empty stadiums.
All domestic and international Games participants and workforce will be tested daily for Covid-19, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a presentation on Wednesday.
The winter multi-sport event, being held in China for the first time, is scheduled to take place from February 4-20 in Beijing and towns in the neighbouring Hebei province.
Beijing will be the first capital to hold both the Winter and Summer Olympics, which was held in the Chinese capital in August, 2008.
The IOC, while acknowledging the disappointment among international fans unable to attend the games, welcomed the decision to have Chinese spectators after the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics in July were held with empty stadiums due to Covid-19 precautions.
The presentation by China laid down the anti-Covid-19 protocols to be implemented ahead of the games. “All athletes and games participants who are fully vaccinated will enter a closed-loop management system upon arrival. Games participants who are not fully vaccinated will have to serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in Beijing,” the Xinhua news agency quoted the organising committee as saying in the presentation.
“All vaccines recognised by World Health Organization or related international organisations, or approved officially by countries or regions concerned will be accepted. Athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered,” the committee said.
“All domestic and international Games participants and workforce in the closed-loop management system will be subject to daily testing,” it said.
“As for the audience, Beijing 2022 organisers made it clear that tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland who meet the requirements of Covid-19 countermeasures,” the organising committee added.
According to the rules, from 23 January until the end of the Paralympics, a closed-loop management system will be implemented to ensure the safe delivery of the Games. “This closed-loop management system will cover all Games-related areas, including arrival and departure, transport, accommodation, catering, competitions, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Within the closed loop, participants will be allowed to move only between Games-related venues for training, competitions, and work. A dedicated Games transport system will be put in place,” the committee said.
The 12 competition venues have been completed while other facilities are scheduled to be finished by October.