International

Winter Olympics tickets won’t be sold to general public due to COVID-19, China says

AP.

The Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee announced on Wednesday that tickets to the games will no longer be sold to the general public because of COVID-19.

Individuals living in China’s mainland were at first the only people allowed to purchase tickets for the Winter Games, but now the organizing committee is discontinuing ticket sales overall “given the current grave and complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The group wrote in a statement that it is implementing the new policy “to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators.”

Instead, the organizing committee will invite groups of spectators to witness the games in person. Those individuals, however, will have to “strictly abide by” COVID-19 protocols before, during and after all events “as pre-conditions for the safe and sound delivery of the Games.”

The International Olympic Committee also issued a statement on Monday outlining the new ticket policy.

The announcement comes days after Beijing reported its first locally transmitted case of the COVID-19 omicron variant on Saturday as the city prepares to host the Olympics in a little more than three weeks.

China tightened restrictions last week in preparation for the Winter Games, banning all airline passengers who travel to the country through a third point. The country also said Beijing would begin implementing testing for children attending international schools.

Beijing is also planning to require that all individuals traveling to the capital city be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival. The policy is set to take effect on Jan. 22 and last through the end of March.

The Winter Olympics are set to kick off in Beijing on Feb. 4 and run until Feb. 20. The Paralympic Winter Games will be held next month, beginning on March 4 and lasting until March 13.

The U.S. and a number of other countries have announced diplomatic boycotts of the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The U.S. pointed to crimes against humanity in China’s Xinjiang region and other human rights abuses when unveiling the effort in its decision not to send any government officials to Beijing for the games.

Tags Beijing China COVID-19 no fans Olympics omicron unvaccinated Vaccine

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