2022 Beijing Olympics to ban foreign spectators

2022 Beijing Olympics to ban foreign spectators

No international fans will be allowed to attend the Beijing 2022 winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Wednesday.

The IOC said the organizers of the Olympics delivered during a meeting a list of principles they intended to follow in an effort to keep the event “safe and successful” and on schedule. That includes only selling tickets for the Beijing 2022 Olympics to fans living in mainland China. 

“The IOC and [International Paralympic Committee] welcome the decision to allow for the sale of tickets to spectators residing in China’s mainland. This will facilitate the growth of winter sports in China by giving those spectators a first-hand Olympic and Paralympic experience of elite winter sports, as well as bringing a favourable atmosphere to the venues,” the IOC said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“However, all parties feel for the athletes and the spectators from around the world, knowing that the restriction on spectators from outside mainland China had to be put in place in order to ensure the safe holding of the Games this winter,” the IOC added.

The IOC also announced that athletes that arrived in China who were not already vaccinated would have to quarantine for 21 days after entering the country, but the committee noted that they would consider those who had “a justified medical exemption.”

Additionally, both Chinese and international athletes participating in the winter Olympics will have to undergo daily COVID-19 testing.

Though the Olympics are not slated to start until Feb. 4, 2022, the announcement comes as the international organizations are already investigating the best ways to keep both athletes, staff and domestic residents safe from a possible COVID-19 surge.

It is a task that Japanese officials struggled with during their Olympics this summer as the country saw new waves of COVID-19 cases, including athletes who arrived into the country who had tested positive for the virus.

Tokyo reported a surge of COVID-19 cases before, during and even after the Olympics ended, often hitting new COVID-19 infection records. After the Tokyo Olympics, the city reported a record of 5,773 COVID-19 cases in mid-August.