Winter Olympics: What is China’s Covid policy and does it work?

Beijing says it’s taken all necessary coronavirus safety measures for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Positive cases have been reported at the Games, including amongst arriving athletes and officials.

So what safety measures are in place, and how successful has China’s policy of “zero Covid” been?

Stricter measures than at Tokyo Olympics

China has gone to great lengths to keep the virus out.

Foreign spectators are barred and tickets are not on sale to the general public.

Groups of local spectators are being “invited” to events and will have to observe strict Covid prevention measures “before, during and after watching the Games.”

An intelligent bullet train designed for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

And people are advised not to travel into the capital, Beijing, from other parts of China

It is also keeping the media, athletes and observers in distinct bubbles, with the rules saying anyone entering these bubbles must be fully vaccinated or spend 21 days in quarantine.

Covid testing is carried out on a daily basis, and face masks are required at all times.

Overseas participants will enter a bubble upon arrival in China, and remain in it until they leave the country.

Local support workers, including volunteers, cooks and drivers, will also be part of a sealed bubble. They’ll have no physical contact with the outside world, even with their own families.

This system applies not just to housing, hospitals and locations meant to serve the Olympics, but also transport links. There are closed-loop airports and high-speed rail systems (most major venues are outside Beijing).

All designated vehicles for Olympic personnel are labelled with a special red sign on the front, and local traffic authorities have even advised the public to “avoid contact” if they have a road accident with them.

A security officer wearing protective gear at the Olympic Village

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