Chinese fans will be able to attend next year’s winter Olympic Games in Beijing after COVID-19 guidelines for the Games were released yesterday (Wednesday).

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland who meet the requirements of COVID-19 countermeasures.

Specific requirements on COVID-19 countermeasures for spectators and the details of ticketing arrangements are currently under discussion and development, and will be released to the public in due course. The Beijing 2022 Olympics are due to run from February 4-20, with the Paralympics to follow from March 4-13.

The announcement comes after the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games went ahead in Tokyo without any fans in attendance. The IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have welcomed the decision to allow domestic fans at Beijing 2022, stating the move will facilitate the growth of winter sports in China and bring a favourable atmosphere to venues.

Guests of stakeholders, such as sports federations and broadcasters, will not be allowed during the Games. Families of overseas athletes will also not be able to attend.

All Beijing 2022 athletes and Games participants who are fully vaccinated will enter a closed-loop COVID-19 management system upon arrival into China. Participants who are not fully vaccinated will be required to serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival.

The closed-loop management system will be in place from January 23 until the end of the Paralympics to ensure the safe delivery of the Games. The system will cover all Games-related areas, including arrival and departure, transport, accommodation, catering, competitions, and the opening and closing ceremonies.

Participants will only be able to move between Games-related venues for training, competitions and work. Daily testing will also be carried out.

The Beijing 2022 principles will be detailed in two Playbooks, the first of which will be released in late October. The second version will be published in December.

Image: Hong Jiang on Unsplash