Beijing police have warned residents not to help a Winter Olympics vehicle if it is in an accident – to avoid violating the strict Games bubble against the coronavirus.
The Chinese capital will host next month’s Olympics in a “closed loop”, ensuring that no athlete or other participant comes into contact with the public.
Authorities closed the bubble last week, meaning thousands of employees, volunteers, cleaners, cooks and bus drivers will be confined for weeks without access to the outside world.
The measures – which are part of China’s attempt to maintain its zero Covid strategy – are so strict that Beijing police have issued a statement saying residents shouldn’t even rush to help an Olympic vehicle in a crash. .
“In the event of a traffic accident with special vehicles for the Winter Olympics, please be careful to maintain a safe distance,” the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau said in an article on Weibo, similar to Twitter.
“Do not come into contact with vehicles or personnel there and wait for the professionals to arrive on the scene.”
China, where the coronavirus emerged in late 2019, has pursued a zero tolerance strategy and is taking the same approach to limit the impact of the pandemic on the Olympics from February 4 to 20 and subsequent Paralympics.
This contrasts with the Covid-delayed Tokyo Summer Olympics, which allowed entry and exit movements for volunteers and other staff.
Global media and around 3,000 athletes are expected to start arriving in the Chinese capital in the coming weeks and will remain in the bubble from the time they land until they leave the country.
Anyone entering the bubble must be fully vaccinated or face a 21-day quarantine when they land, and everyone inside will be tested daily and will need to wear face masks at all times.
The system includes dedicated transport between sites, with even closed-loop high-speed rail systems operating in parallel with those open to the public.
China’s strict rules to prevent a possible Games-related coronavirus outbreak will be put to the test by the emergence of the highly infectious variant of Omicron.
The country has so far reported only a handful of Omicron cases, but authorities are struggling to eradicate virus clusters in several cities with tens of millions of people tested and millions under lockdown.
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