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Tickets to the Beijing Winter Olympics is not going to be offered to most people, however distributed to “focused” teams, organisers have introduced, in China’s newest try to regulate the unfold of the highly-infectious Omicron Covid variant.

Beijing reported its first domestically transmitted Omicron case over the weekend, piling renewed pressure on authorities within the run-up to the Video games, that are as a consequence of begin on 4 February and coincide with the lunar new yr celebrations week, usually the most important journey interval of the yr.

Organisers of the Winter Olympics beforehand stated the Video games could be stored in a “closed loop”, that means that solely a restricted variety of spectators could be allowed in venues. Abroad spectators is not going to be allowed to enter the nation, and personnel concerned within the Video games should keep away from contact with individuals exterior the loop.

On Monday, the organisers cited the “extreme and sophisticated” Covid-19 state of affairs and the necessity to defend the protection of Olympics personnel and spectators in an announcement.

“With the intention to defend the well being and security of Olympic-related personnel and spectators, it was determined to regulate the unique plan to promote tickets to the general public and [instead] organise spectators to observe the Video games on website,” they stated.

Native spectators who obtain tickets should observe strict Covid prevention measures earlier than, throughout and after attending Olympic occasions, the organising committee stated, with out giving additional particulars, or specifying how tickets could be distributed.

China’s makes an attempt to implement its “zero-Covid” containment policy are threatened by the Omicron variant.

On Monday, authorities urged citizens not to order goods from overseas, after they claimed {that a} current Omicron an infection detected in Beijing had come from a global bundle despatched from Canada. China has claimed that quite a few Covid infections all through the pandemic have come from imported merchandise – usually chilly chain gadgets – however consultants say the scientific foundation for such claims is weak.

Final month North America’s nationwide hockey league stated its gamers wouldn’t take part within the Beijing Winter Olympics as a consequence of Covid disruptions of the league schedule.

The most recent data on the primary Omicron case in Beijing got here hours earlier than President Xi Jinping vowed to current a “streamlined, protected and splendid Video games to the world” in his keynote speech on the Davos financial discussion board.

Chinese language well being authorities on Monday reported 223 instances from the earlier 24 hours to midnight, together with 163 native transmissions. The bulk had been in Tianjin, the place mainland China’s first Omicron case was recognized on 9 December.

The authorities stated 79 of its 80 instances in Tianjin had been present in Jinnan district, and 68 in Henan province, of which 60 had been within the locked-down metropolis of Anyang. One case reported within the southern metropolis of Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong, was confirmed as Omicron.

Further reporting by Reuters

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