China will no longer sell tickets to the Beijing Winter Olympics due to COVID-19
No tickets will be sold for the upcoming winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing due to the "grave and complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Instead, organizers announced Monday that they would invite groups of spectators to attend the games in person.
"The organisers expect that these spectators will strictly abide by the COVID-19 countermeasures before, during and after each event as pre-conditions for the safe and sound delivery of the Games," the Beijing 2022 organizing committee said in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee previously said they would sell tickets only to spectators living in mainland China who met certain COVID-19 safety requirements.
Fans weren't allowed in the stands during the summer Olympics in Tokyo last year.
The winter games won't require athletes to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but those who are unvaccinated will have to quarantine for 21 days when they arrive in Beijing. The IOC also implemented other policies to prevent the spread of COVID during the competition, such as a "closed-loop" system that limits participants to certain Olympics-related areas and other permitted locations and isolates them from China's general public.
The winter Olympic Games will take place from Feb. 4-20, and the winter Paralympic Games will occur from March 4-13.
China has been working to quell a series of COVID outbreaks in the weeks before the games, recently putting more than 20 million people across the country in some form of lockdown, the Associated Press reported. Last week Beijing reported its first locally transmitted case of the omicron variant, according to media reports.
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