In compliance with Beijing’s communist government, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Wednesday that the winter Olympic Games to be held in the capital city will only permit spectators from mainland China itself.
Spectators must pass a set of safety requirements against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which are still under discussion.
Safety purposes and ‘good will’
According to the IOC, the move will promote winter sports by allowing mainland spectators “a first-hand Olympic and Paralympic experience of elite winter sports,” as well as bringing good spirits to the venues.
The committee also expressed its regret, claiming that it understands how athletes and spectators from other countries will feel without the physical attendance of fans worldwide.
“All parties feel for the athletes and the spectators from around the world, knowing that the restriction on spectators from outside mainland China had to be put in place in order to ensure the safe holding of the Games this winter,” added the committee.
All fully vaccinated participants will enter a “closed-loop management system” so that they can move around freely. The spectators will not need to go through quarantine, and all Games-related areas will be included in the safety system.
Daily COVID-19 tests will still be necessary for all “domestic and international participants.” Those who are not fully vaccinated must undergo 21 days in quarantine upon arrival to Beijing, despite the Games taking place for 16 days.
“Athletes who can provide a justified medical exemption will have their cases considered,” added the IOC in a statement. The organizers of the Games will reveal more details of their plans in October and December.
Opposition to the measures
In April, the U.S. was reportedly planning a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, but a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State has denied the claims. Regardless, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has warned the U.S. that it will not permit any boycotts of the Olympics, promising a “robust Chinese response” to any attempt.
Chinese threats have not stopped other human rights groups from preparing to boycott what one group, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, called the “Genocide Games.”
The groups are prepared to remind the IOC and other committees of the communist government’s genocide of the Uyghurs, as well as “religious persecution, forced abortion and sterilization, forced organ harvesting, forced labor, and mass surveillance.”
Via an open letter to the committees, including the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Women’s Rights Without Frontiers group called for “an urgent international effort to relocate [the] 2022 Winter Games to another venue” while continuing to lambast the IOC’s failures in its decision to cooperate with the CCP.