Unlike the Olympic Games from Such last summer, which were held in a “bubble” porous, the perimeters of the “closed circuit” that prepares Beijing are sealed and guarded, precautions that will be put to the test as infections by the omicron variant of coronavirus increase.
This week, at the entrance to the Main Media Centern, security personnel were guarding a locked door, police cars were in the immediate vicinity, and signs on temporary fences warned those in the area of the “end of the closed circuit.”
Once inside, people cannot leave until they leave the country or complete several weeks of quarantine. This includes some 20,000 Chinese volunteers and staff from the venues entering the circuit. The Olympics begin on February 4.
Foreign participants, who arrive mainly on special charter flights, enter the bubble as soon as they land at Beijing Capital International Airport. The first arrivals say their buses had a police escort to their hotel, Reuters reported.
The authorities are determined to create a physical barrier between the participants and the general population. On Sunday, Beijing officials warned locals to stay away from designated Olympic transport vehicles in the event of a traffic incident.
The organizers have said that they expect contagions to occur in the bubble, but added that they do not plan any changes in their protocols unless there are many cases within the circuit. They declined to say whether any cases of contagion had been found among staff who had arrived so far before the Games.
China has largely succeeded in curbing the local spread of the coronavirus since it first appeared in the city of Wuhan two years ago, practically closing its borders to travelers. Everyone in the circuit must undergo a daily CRP test administered by the staff.
More than 2,000 international athletes will come to China for the Games, along with 25,000 other interested parties, according to the organizers, a large number of them from abroad. The organizers did not say how many would be in the closed circuit