Asia/Pacific

China to rely on charter, temporary flights to get athletes to Olympic Games

Athletes flying into the Beijing Winter Olympics will need to fly in on charter or temporary flights due to China’s strict travel policies amid concerns over COVID-19. 

Organizing committee official Zhang Liang told reporters at a news briefing that the epidemic prevention situation is still “severe and complicated,” noting that the omicron variant has already spread to more than 50 countries, Reuters reported.

He added that upon arrival of the Olympics, which are scheduled to start Feb. 4, athletes and attendees would need to enter a “closed loop,” or bubble, that will separate them from the rest of China, according to Forbes. They will remain there for their entire stay.

“During the peak periods of arrivals and departures to Beijing, an average of at least 15 inbound flights and 13 outbound flights can be provided every day,” Zhang said.

The organizers noted they would work with Chinese and foreign airlines to arrange the temporary flights. The temporary flights will fly from places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, and Tokyo, Zhang said.

The Olympics will follow the Chinese government’s stringent “zero-Covid” pandemic policy. Like this year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo, the winter games will not have any crowds in attendance. 

Tags 2022 Beijing Olympics 2022 Winter Olympics Zhang Liang

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