By Lei Yan
Beijing Releases Travel For 2022 Winter Olympics
On Oct. 25, the Beijing Olympic Committee, along with the International Olympics Committee (IOC), released a travel policy handbook for athletes and international officials during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Game. While a strict quarantine is not required for fully vaccinated individuals, international visitors will only be able to navigate freely within a closed-loop zone. International visitors may exit the zone and freely travel through China. However, the committee recommended all international travelers leave China within 48 hours after the end of their business. The handbook also stipulates social distancing requirements in the closed-loop zone, which is similar to the practice adopted by most countries.
The handbook laid out details of the steps an individual needs to take before entering the close-loop zone. Athletes and officials still need negative nucleic test results within 48 hours before departure, and all international arrivals will be at Beijing Capital International Airport. The airport has closed its international building at Terminal 3 for reconstruction since September 2021.
After entering the close-loop zone, an individual shall strictly follow social distancing and mask mandates. Transportations will be arranged between hotels, venues, and other training facilities, and people in the zone will not directly make contact with people outside. For athletes and officials who come and leave China, authorities will arrange charter flights to fulfill the needs as there are only a handful of commercial international flights still operating in-and-out of China.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics game will open on Feb 4, 2022. The game will make Beijing the only city in the world to host both the Summer Olympics game and Winter Olympics game. The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Game was an unprecedented event, praised by the former president of IOC Jacques Rogge in the closing ceremony. However, with all the restrictions, it would be challenging to make the same impression for the 2022 game.
Viewers who wish to see the game onsite may be disappointed since China is still closed to tourists. For the public in China, official says a limited number of tickets will be available online no earlier than December 2021.
International travel in-and-out of China is already extremely limited nowadays. Besides a valid visa, you need a nucleic acid test and a serologic test for Covid-19 48 hours before taking off. After landing, you will take another set of nucleic acid tests and serologic tests, and be subject to a 14- to 28-day quarantine, depending on which city you land in China.
While the world is gradually opening up as countries embrace the situation to coexist with Covid-19, China upholds its policy to eliminate the virus within its borders. During the recent Covid-19 uptick in western China, cities canceled over 90% of the flight, and the rest of the country requires people from Covid-19 hot spots to present test results upon arrival. Until Oct 24, China has administered over two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines, and 75% of the population is fully vaccinated. However, the Chinese government is still enforcing strict social distancing and quarantine policies around the country. The aviation community in China is hoping for a slow transition to an open border, as the vaccination rate climbs over 80%.