Tickets for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be sold to spectators from mainland China only, while unvaccinated athletes must spend 21 days in quarantine ahead of the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on September 29th.
The Beijing Games have informed the IOC’s Executive Board 2022 of the principles to deliver “safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as scheduled”, the Committee said.
Beijing Games starts on February 4th and the Chinese capital will become the first to have hosted both Summer and Winter editions after also staging the Beijing 2008 Summer Games.
While acknowledging disappointment among international fans who will not be able to attend, the IOC 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 as Japan suddenly saw an upsurge in virus numbers.
The 2020 Summer Olympics, branded as Tokyo 2020, was an international multisport event held from July 23rd to August 8th, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan, with some preliminary events that began on July 21st.
A statement sent out by the IOC read, “This will facilitate the growth of winter sports in China … as well as bringing a favourable atmosphere to the venues.”
It is also good news for broadcasting rights holders as well as sponsors, following the coverage of the Tokyo Games with the empty stands in the background.
The IOC said among the Beijing safety principles were that all fully vaccinated participants would enter what it called a “closed-loop management system” immediately upon their arrival, within which they will move freely.
They will not need to quarantine and this system will cover all Games-related areas and stadiums as well as accommodation, catering and the opening and closing ceremonies, served by a dedicated transport system.
All domestic and international participants as well as the workforce in the system will be tested daily, the IOC informed.
Participants who are not fully vaccinated must spend 21 days in quarantine when arriving in the Chinese capital. The Games themselves last 16 days in total.
The IOC statement further read, “Athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered.”
More details on the organizers’ plans will be included in the Beijing Games playbooks to be issued in October and December.
Vaccination is not mandatory for the Beijing Games but some National Olympic Committees, including that of the United States, are requiring all team members for Beijing to be vaccinated.
China said as of September 28th, 1.05 billion people have been fully vaccinated in the country.