The Olympic torch’s public journey to the opening ceremony of the Winter Games will be much more lonely and with much less fanfare.
According to organizers of Beijing Olympics, the torch relay, which is usually global and lasts for months, will be only three days long and mainly local. It will be open to select members of public.
“This torch relay will always prioritize safety,” Yang Haibin, an official from the organizing committee, said at a news briefing on Friday.
The route will stop at the Great Wall, Summer Palace, and Olympic Village in Beijing. The relay will begin on February 2 and end on February 4, when the Games start.
The torchbearers will need to be vaccinated. They will be tested for coronavirus, and their health closely monitored until the relay begins.
China is taking extreme measures to stop the spread of Covid cases in China this month. At least 30 cities have reported Covid cases locally, and many other cities have been subject to partial lockdowns or mass testing.
However, these are just a handful of cases. There have been 24 cases of locally transmitted disease in Beijing. Many areas have been closed off and there are increasing testing requirements to enter and leave the capital. Officials stated this week that no Olympics tickets will be sold to the public due to concerns about the virus.
Source: NY Times