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Beijing 2022: Overseas fans banned from Winter Olympics

Beijing

Bengaluru, October 1: The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will allow only resident fans while the ban on travelling fans from overseas continues because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It may be recalled that the delayed 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games took place in empty arenas in Tokyo earlier this year due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be the second straight Olympics during the COVID-19 pandemic where families of athletes cannot visit the host country to watch the events.

The Beijing Winter Olympics are being held from February 4 to 20 while the Paralympic Winter Games will be held from March 4 to 13.

The Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee presented its COVID-19 countermeasures to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

This included the sale of tickets exclusively to spectators residing in China's mainland who meet the requirements of COVID-19 countermeasures."

As for participants in the Games themselves - including athletes, coaching teams and media - those who are fully vaccinated will enter a closed-loop management system upon arrival in Beijing.

This acts effectively as a COVID-secure bubble which is supposed to cover all games-related areas, including arrival and departure, transport, accommodation, catering, competitions, and the opening and closing ceremonies.

"Within the closed-loop, participants will be allowed to move only between games-related venues for training, competitions and work," a statement from the organisers said.

Organisers added that they will accept all vaccines recognized by the World Health Organisation or related international organizations while athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered.

Athletes and other participants who are not fully vaccinated will be obliged to enter a 21-day quarantine period upon arrival.

Daily testing will also be in place for all those inside the closed-loop bubble system, which will officially be in place from January 23, 2022, until the conclusion of the Paralympics on March 13.

The IOC confirmed the quarantine norms, "Games participants who aren't fully vaccinated will have to serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in Beijing," the IOC said in a statement.

The IOC acknowledged that all parties feel for the athletes and the spectators from around the world.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Friday, October 1, 2021, 9:26 [IST]
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