Olympics Bans Foreign Spectators in China Ahead of Beijing Winter Games

by Thad Mitchell

Much as it has for well over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic continues wreaking havoc with the upcoming winter Olympics its latest victim.

This year the winter Olympic games are heading to Beijing, China, and will begin early next year. But, anyone who is not a resident of China will have to watch the games on television. The International Olympics Committee (IOC) recently says that tickets for the event are only for those residing in China. Foreign spectators cannot be at the Beijing, China, winter games. The IOC announced this measure, along with several others, in a statement made earlier this week. They say these measures are to protect against the possible spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. The measure even extends to the families of participating athletes, who will also not be able to attend Olympic events.

The announcement states that only residents of China’s mainland can purchase tickets to enter Olympic events. Chinese citizens wishing to attend events will also have to meet certain requirements to enter into places hosting events. The move hardly comes as a surprise as the world continues to battle the coronavirus epidemic.

New COVID-19 guidelines put in place by the IOC also apply to athletes competing in the winter games. Athletes who are not fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine for 21 days upon arriving in the country. The guidelines also state athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered.

Olympics Will Have Strict COVID-19 Guidelines in Hopes of Prevention

Olympic athletes that have been vaccinated will be allowed to freely compete in the upcoming winter games. The IOC says it will recognize all vaccines either approved by the World Health Organization or national authorities.

Much like the recent summer Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan vaccinated athletes will enter a closed-loop management system when they arrive.

In the Wednesday statement, the IOC says “the 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 loop, participants can move only between Games-related venues for training, competitions and work.”

The IOC also says they will devise a “playbook” for the upcoming winter Olympics, which will lay out the COVID-19 ground rules. The “playbook” will reportedly be out by the end of October.

Always a popular event around the world, the 2022 winter Olympics will kick off on February 4.

China has been hard by the coronavirus as have many other countries, including the United States. The delta variant of the virus has brought forth additional problems around the world. China has reported 108,413 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 4,849 virus related deaths since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.