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Beijing to offer Olympic tickets to 'selected' spectators

Virus Outbreak China
Posted at 1:58 PM, Jan 17, 2022

Only "selected" spectators will be permitted at next month's Beijing Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said Monday.

Beijing had already announced that no fans from outside the country would be permitted at the events and had not offered tickets to the general public.

Monday's announcement posted on the organizing committee's website confirmed expectations that the Winter Games would have few onlookers at the venues, under even more strict conditions than imposed during last year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

China has largely avoided major virus outbreaks with a regimen of lockdowns, mass testing for COVID-19 and travel restrictions. The country continues to fight surges in several cities, including the port of Tianjin, about an hour from Beijing. The capital itself confirmed over the weekend that a 26-year-old woman had contracted the Omicron variant of the virus and has tested more than 13,000 people in search of cases of cross-transmission.

In its statement, the organizing committee said its measures were intended to "create a pleasant environment for the holding of the Games."

The statement said, "Given the difficult and complicated work of controlling the epidemic, and to protect the health and safety of those involved with the Games, the original plan of offering tickets to the general public has been altered toward spectators from selected groups."

This story was originally published by Newsy and the Associated Press contributed to this report.