Organisers of next year’s winter Olympics in Beijing have revealed that fans may be permitted to attend test events in the lead-up to the Games.

Test events for the Games will begin this week, with speed skating, skeleton, figure skating, curling, ice hockey and skiing among the sports set to be contested.

The winter Olympics are scheduled to run from February 4-20, with the Paralympics to follow from March 4-13. Last week, it was confirmed that only fans from Mainland China would be permitted to attend the Games.

It has now emerged that fans could also be allowed at upcoming test events. “If conditions allow, we will arrange for spectators to attend certain competitions,” Yao Hui, director of Beijing 2022’s venue management department, said, according to the Reuters news agency.

It is not clear how many fans would be permitted for test events, or which competitions would be trialled. Any foreign athletes taking part in the test events must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain at competition and training venues while in China.

The admission of fans at the Beijing 2022 Olympics will come after this year’s summer Games in Tokyo went ahead without any spectators.

Specific requirements on COVID-19 countermeasures for spectators and the details of ticketing arrangements for Beijing 2022 are currently under discussion and development, and will be released to the public in due course.

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.

Image: Hong Jiang on Unsplash