With the games getting underway in Beijing at the beginning of February, organisers have cancelled plans to sell tickets to members of public, and instead attendees will be invited “groups of spectators” only.
With China reporting 223 new Covid-19 cases on January 16th, and the country recently identifying its first case of the Omicron variant, organisers of the Winter Olympics have taken swift action to change their ticketing policy.
For a long time, it has been clear that no international spectators would be permitted to attend the Games, but domestic crowds had been expected to be given the opportunity to welcome Olympians to Beijing, and cheer them to glory.
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However, a statement from the International Olympic Committee said, "Given the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators, it has been decided that tickets should not be sold anymore.”
Tickets will instead be distributed as “part of an adapted programme that will invite groups of spectators to be present on site during the Games.”
"The organisers expect that these spectators will strictly abide by the Covid-19 countermeasures before, during and after each event so as to help create an absolutely safe environment for the athletes."
Those lucky enough to get hold of tickets for the Games will be residents of China’s mainland who are able to meet the required criteria.
Beijing 2022 – which gets underway on March 4th – will operate a ‘closed loop system’ as it plans to deliver a safe event.
Venues, hotels and transport services are involved in the loop, which sees vaccinated participants enter the system without quarantining, while unvaccinated personnel must quarantine for 21 days upon arrival.
During the Games, daily health monitoring and testing will take place, while those involved will be able to have no contact with the general public.
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