- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Foreign fans will be banned from attending the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after organisers outlined strict Covid-19 rules for the event on Wednesday.
The International Olympic Committee revealed that only fans from mainland China will be able to attend the Games, which take place from February 4-20.
'WE WERE BORED': Olympic champ's bizarre sex confession
Fans who are allowed to attend will still need to meet some yet to be decided coronavirus criteria.
Vaccination for athletes is not mandatory to compete, but unvaccinated athletes must undergo a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in China.
"Athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered," the IOC said.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated athletes will then operate in a coronavirus bubble until they leave China.
The IOC said among the principles were that all fully vaccinated participants would enter what it called a "closed-loop management system" immediately upon their arrival, within which they will move freely.
This will cover all Games-related areas and stadiums as well as accommodation, catering and the opening and closing Ceremonies, served by a dedicated transport system.
All domestic and international Games participants as well as the workforce in the system will be tested daily.
The same rules will apply to the subsequent Paralympic Games.
Overseas fans were also banned from the Tokyo Olympics this summer with only a few events attended by Japanese, but overseas athletes did not have to quarantine.
It will be the second-consecutive Olympics during the pandemic where families of athletes cannot visit the host country to watch the events.
The IOC acknowledged “all parties feel for the athletes and the spectators from around the world.”
However residents of the host country should be able to attend the 109 medal events after spectators were barred from nearly all of the 339 events in Tokyo.
“Tickets will be sold exclusively to spectators residing in China’s mainland, who meet the requirements of the Covid-19 countermeasures,” the Olympic body said, though details were not given.
Guests of stakeholders such as sports bodies, sponsors and broadcasters will also be excluded again.
The Chinese capital will become the first city to host both summer and winter Olympics after also staging the Summer Games in 2008.
"This will facilitate the growth of winter sports in China ... as well as bringing a favourable atmosphere to the venues," the IOC said.
Two big developments regarding Beijing Winter Olympics. 1) foreign spectators will not be allowed, but tickets will be sold to Chinese fans. 2) any Games participants who are NOT fully vaccinated must serve a 21-day quarantine upon arrival. https://t.co/3jTNUs5nVU
— Steve Wilson (@SteveWilson_LDN) September 29, 2021
Today in #Olympics news: Full vaccination will be required for all athletes and Games participants, otherwise, they will have to quarantine for 21 days. Also, there will be no foreign fans, though there will be domestic fans
➡️Read more: https://t.co/ktf7Z9c0V8 #Beijing2022 pic.twitter.com/L4SbZZErk5
— Jackie Wong (@rockerskating) September 29, 2021
Controversy over 2022 Winter Olympics in China
The Beijing Games will go ahead amid controversy and calls to boycott the event on human rights grounds.
A vocal core of international lawyers, politicians and activists have brought pressure on Olympic sponsors, sports federations, governments and athletes to shun what they are branding as the “Genocide Games” because of reported human rights abuses against Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetans and other minorities in China.
Those calls have largely been met with silence, although Canada’s House of Commons voted 266-0 in a non-binding referendum that China is committing genocide against more than one million Uyghurs and called for the IOC to move the Olympics from Beijing.
The Dutch parliament passed a similar motion, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he believes genocide is being committed against the Uyghurs.
Earlier this year the state-run tabloid Global Times said countries who boycott the 2022 Games can expect serious sanctions.
“IOC and athletes will both oppose it, and China will seriously sanction any country that follows such a call,” Hu Xijin tweeted.
An editorial published in the Global Times also described the boycott calls as a “hostage” situation.
“China is a sporting and economic power with growing political influence," the editorial read.
"If any country is encouraged by extremist forces to take concrete actions to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, China will definitely retaliate fiercely.
“China certainly has the resources and means to do that.”
There wouldn't be a "name and shame" strategy around the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics if Beijing weren't engaged in such shameful conduct toward the Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang, people of Hong Kong, and independent voices across the country https://t.co/bHd82M3dQs @TheMercurySA
— Sajida Timol (@SajidaTimol) March 29, 2021
— Aldo Chavez (@aldo_chavez) February 19, 2021
This is a disgrace. I will say it every time, make sure they pull the Winter Olympics out of Beijing.
— Marcy (@mfgators) April 2, 2021
It's surely a disgrace if the Winter Olympics, which embraces humanity & peace, will be held in a country which has a long track record of human rights abuse. This will tarnish the fame of Winter Olympics. #BoycottChina #CCPChina pic.twitter.com/5nIQSkuGzw
— Sirius (@Sirius44446774) September 22, 2020
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.