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Beijing Olympic Villages officially opened

The Olympic villages for the Beijing Winter Games have officially opened under strict precautionary measures due to the corona pandemic.

More than 360 athletes and team members from more than 20 countries are expected to move into the accommodations on the opening day, Chinese state television reported. Since last week, however, athletes and advance delegations have also arrived and moved in.

For the Winter Games, which open on Friday, there are three athletes’ villages at the respective competition venues. They are distributed between the capital, Yanqing, 75 kilometers away, and Zhangjiakou, 180 kilometers from the gates of Beijing.

Virus prevention and control are “the most important tasks” of management in villages, said management team director Shen Qianfan.

High Security Zones in the Olympic Villages

Like the venues, the accommodations are similar to high-security zones, since the athletes and team members are only allowed to move in hermetically “closed circuits” (closed loops).

It is less about protecting the Olympic participants from external infections. Rather, it is intended to prevent the virus from being brought to China by foreign guests.

Unlike other countries, China is currently only registering a few dozen infections per day. The Health Commission reported 25 local infections nationwide on Thursday, five of them in the 20 million metropolis of Beijing. With strict measures such as curfews, mass tests, contact tracing and isolation, China has had the virus largely under control for more than a year and a half. To this end, China has largely sealed itself off from other countries.

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