The organising committee for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing has announced today (Monday) that tickets for the Games will be distributed as part of an adapted programme that will invite groups of spectators to attend events.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously announced that tickets for the Games would be placed on general sale exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland who meet the requirements of COVID-19 countermeasures.

This will no longer be the case, with Beijing 2022 confirming today that tickets would not be sold. Instead, a programme will be launched whereby invited spectators will make up the attendance.

These spectators are expected to “strictly abide” by the COVID-19 countermeasures before, during and after each event as pre-conditions for the safe delivery of the Games.

The announcement comes after the IOC in September released its pandemic prevention and control policy principles for the Beijing Olympics, which take place from February 4-20, and the Paralympics, which run from March 4-13.

One of the principles of the policy was that no tickets would be sold to spectators outside China’s mainland, and that tickets would be sold exclusively to Chinese mainland residents who meet COVID-19 requirements.

Today’s announcement confirms that no tickets will be placed on general sale, with Beijing 2022 citing the current “grave and complicated” situation of the pandemic. The move is designed to protect the safety of participants and spectators.

It is unclear how many spectators will be able to attend as part of the adapted programme.

The 2020 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games went ahead in Tokyo without any fans in attendance.

Image: Hong Jiang on Unsplash