Tickets for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be sold only to people from mainland China due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Wednesday.
The stance differs from this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games which were not open to spectators.
Specific requirements for spectators of the February event and the details of ticketing arrangements have yet to be finalized, according to a Sept. 29 press release.
But the IOC said that non-fully vaccinated athletes must spend 21 days in quarantine upon arrival in Beijing. Fully vaccinated participants can move freely within Games-related areas.
All domestic and international participants, as well as the Games staff, will be tested daily, the IOC said.
Vaccination is not mandatory for the Beijing Games but some national Olympic committees, including that of the United States, are requiring all team members for the event to be vaccinated.
Media are likely to be segregated from athletes with little possibility of free movement, with COVID-19 countermeasures being a possible rationale.
Although Beijing has claimed to deliver “safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” according to the IOC, China’s foreign ministry spokesman failed to provide specifics during a regular press briefing in March about its promise of complete media freedom for the event.
The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have been deemed controversial because of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s human rights record which includes the detention of at least one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.
The communist authorities have pushed back against accusations of human rights violations.
International activist groups and human rights advocates have called for a boycott of the “Genocide Games”.
Some of the world’s largest broadcasters including American network NBC are being asked by human rights groups to cancel plans to cover the sporting event.