Beijing’s Traffic Management Bureau warned locals on Sunday to “maintain a safe distance” from potential traffic accidents involving 2022 Winter Olympic vehicles during the upcoming event, as interactions between participants of the Beijing-hosted Games and any outside persons is strictly prohibited by the Chinese Communist Party to prevent transmission of the Chinese coronavirus.
“In case of traffic accidents with special vehicles for the Winter Olympics, please pay attention to maintaining a safe distance,” the traffic bureau wrote in a post uploaded by its Twitter-like Sina Weibo account on January 9.
“Do not make contact with vehicles or personnel in them and wait for professionals to arrive at the scene,” the microblog advised.
Beijing authorities issued the stark warning not to assist people involved in a potential emergency as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s extreme “closed-loop” management system, which will guide its handling of the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Chinese national capital — home to over 21 million people — is set to host the Games from February 4 to February 20.
Communist Party officials launched the “closed-loop” management system in Beijing on January 4 in an effort to prepare conditions meant to cultivate a coronavirus-free “bubble” for Games participants, including athletes and staff.
“Starting Tuesday [January 4], thousands of Games-related staff, volunteers, cleaners, cooks and coach drivers will be cocooned for weeks in the so-called ‘closed loop’ with no direct physical access to the outside world,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported January 4.
“Anyone entering the bubble must be fully vaccinated or face a 21-day quarantine when they touch down, and everyone inside will be tested daily and must wear face masks at all times,” the news agency noted.
Beijing transport authorities have created a special transit system specifically for participants of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to help contain the event. The accommodation includes “dedicated transport between venues with … high-speed rail systems operating in parallel to those open to the public,” according to AFP.
The Olympic rail line will continue operating into late March or possibly early April, presumably to keep staff who participated in the Games separate from Beijing’s outside population in an extended quarantine system. Chinese residents who participate in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in any capacity must quarantine for 21 days upon exiting the “bubble” before they are allowed to return to their home communities.
AFP journalists visiting official 2022 Winter Olympic venues in and near Beijing in early January observed laborers “erecting wire fences and security guards standing by in the winter chill.”
“[F]oreign diplomats in China have told AFP that the measures look to be so impregnable that they worry they will not be able to offer proper help to their nationals inside the bubble,” the French state-owned news agency revealed on January 4.
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