Beijing’s ‘closed loop system’ aims to keep Winter Olympics Covid free

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is due to begin this week marking yet another Olympics being held under incredibly tight restrictions.

China is taking a zero-Covid approach to the Games, hoping that its stringent social control pays dividends when it comes to containing the virus as it sees thousands of athletes, officials and media enter the country for the first time in two years.

Beijing is using a “closed loop system” to isolate all the estimated 11,000 new arrivals from the wider city.

Testing is being done daily, with a small number already being found to carry the virus.

“All cases so far are within five days of arrival and are therefore assessed as being imported (contracted prior to arrival in Beijing),”  the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement.

“No infection has occurred within the Closed Loop.”

The Olympic bubble is confined to a set number of stadiums, conference centres and more than 70 hotels concentrated in three zones.

The participants move through the zones in a dedicated transport system that includes a fleet of around 40,000 vehicles without ever coming into contact with either residents or spectators.

While there is no public ticketing, some tickets have been handed out to select people by various authorities.

Those travelling to the Games must take two Covid tests before departing and another test on arrival. They will also be tested every day while in China and are required use an app daily to upload their body temperature and answer questions about their health status.

“All data to date provides confidence that daily PCR testing combined with the isolation and close contact policies in place means that the Closed Loop is very safe and there are no infectious participants within it,” the IOC said.