Next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing will be held without spectators from overseas with tickets restricted to fans living in China because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday.

The IOC said only fully vaccinated participants would be exempt from a 21-day quarantine. Athletes who can provide a “justified medical exemption” will have their cases considered.

Official emblems for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Photo: International Olympic Committee.

All attendees will enter a strict bubble upon arrival that covers Games-related areas and stadiums as well as accommodation, catering and the opening and closing ceremonies.

The decisions, announced by the IOC but taken by Chinese organisers, are a foretaste of a package of measures to be released in October designed to prevent the Games from turning into a source of contamination.

Spectators were banned from almost all venues at the Tokyo 2020 Games after it was delayed a year by the global health crisis.

All domestic and international Games participants and workforce in the bubble, known as the “closed-loop management system”, will be tested daily.

The 2022 Beijing Olympics is scheduled for February 4-20.

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