For journalists covering the Beijing Winter Olympics, China's strict pandemic measures are creating a surreal and somewhat frustrating experience.
China requires electronic confirmation of the health status of those participating in, or covering the Olympic games. That has kept some journalists on edge during their journey from various countries traveling to Beijing. One Associated Press photographer reportedon the strict measures, as members of the media were asked to download an app upon arrival in Beijing, and reported that the presence of health workers in biohazard suits signaled that restrictions would keep them inside the bubble requiring competitors, officials, staff and journalists to stay isolated from the general public.
During last year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, participants had to stay inside of a COVID-19 bubble but were allowed outside of it after two weeks. As the Associated Press reports, China has so far been requiring multiple negative COVID-19 tests into their app, which has already been problematic for some.
As the South China Morning Post reported, the Chinese government sealed up the bubble in early January to prepare for the Winter Games and it has been called the strictest mass sporting event since the pandemic began. China and the city of Beijing are preparing for how they will handle around 3,000 international athletes and media from around the globe.
Those in the bubble must be fully vaccinated, or face a government-imposed 21-day quarantine as soon as they arrive in the country, according to the South China Morning Post. Face masks will be required at all times, and everyone in the bubble will be tested daily.