The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Sept. 29 new restrictions for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in February, including a ban on foreign spectators and mandatory quarantine for unvaccinated participants.
Under the new guidelines, all athletes and participants who are not fully vaccinated will have to undergo a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in Beijing.
Games officials will consider the cases of athletes who can provide a medical exemption, IOC said.
Meanwhile, those who are fully vaccinated will enter the “closed-loop management system” upon arrival, which is a health security bubble “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,” IOC said.
IOC added that participants will be allowed to move only between Games-related venues within the closed loop.
Furthermore, all participants and workforce will undergo daily testing under the new guidelines.
The new guidelines also ban foreign spectators, as tickets will only be sold to spectators from mainland China “who meet the requirements of the COVID-19 countermeasures,” which IOC said is under development and will be published once finalized.
While no spectators were allowed at nearly all the events in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IOC said that allowing spectators residing in mainland China for the coming Winter Olympics “will facilitate the growth of winter sports in China” and will also bring “a favorable atmosphere to the venues.”
IOC announced the rules after holding a meeting with the International Paralympic Committee and the organizers in China.
The Beijing Winter Olympics will take place between Feb. 4 to 20 while the Paralympic Winter Games will take place from March 4 to 13.
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