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Beijing Games Organizers Back COVID-19 Controls despite Omicron Concerns

Beijing Games Organizers Back COVID-19 Controls despite Omicron Concerns

Tuesday, 11 January, 2022 - 07:15
A worker sets up an installation featuring Bing Dwen Dwen, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Mascot and Shuey Rhon Rhon, the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games Mascot, in Beijing, China January 11, 2022. (Reuters)

Despite Omicron concerns, Beijing will not adjust its COVID-19 prevention measures for the Winter Olympics unless there are many cases inside the "closed-loop", Huang Chun, an official with the Beijing Games organizing committee, said on Tuesday.

China has reported some cases of the more infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus as it battles small-scale outbreaks in several regions, less than a month before the Games are due to kick off on Feb. 4.

The "closed-loop" bubble, in which participants can only leave if they are exiting the country or undergo quarantine, was activated earlier in January.

Restrictions at Games venues in Beijing and Zhangjiakou in neighboring Hebei province will be much tighter than those during last summer's Tokyo Olympics.

But organizers have room to make adjustments to COVID-19 control measures if necessary, said Huang, at a briefing in Beijing.

As in Tokyo, no international spectators will be allowed at the Beijing Winter Games, and local attendance at event sites is likely to be curtailed, although specific arrangements have not been released.

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