Beijing: The Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee announced on Monday that tickets for the Beijing Winter Olympics Games will not be sold to the public and only selected spectators will be invited to attend on supervised trips. 

The announcement comes after Beijing reported its first case of the highly transmissible Omicron variant on January 15, less than three weeks before the Games’ opening on 4th Feb. This makes Beijing the second consecutive Olympics (after Tokyo) held largely without fans.

China has said that priority will be to ensure the safety of the games, looking at the spread of the Omicron variant. The organizing committee said, “we have decided to change the original plan of public ticket sales due to the grim and complex situation of epidemic prevention and control and in order to protect the health and safety of Olympic personnel and spectators". 

In a statement on Monday, the International Olympic Committee said those in attendance will be residents of China's mainland who have the required "Covid-19 countermeasures." Chinese President Xi Jinping in his address at the 2022 World Economic Forum on Monday said, “we are confident that China will present a streamlined, safe and splendid Games to the world.”

The 2022 winter Olympics games will be held in a ‘closed-loop system’ to adhere to China’s Zero Covid policy. At least nine Chinese cities, including the capital Beijing, have reported locally transmitted cases of the omicron variant of Covid-19 since Jan. 9, with the southern city of Meizhou becoming the latest to detect the highly transmissible strain.

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