Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Foreign diplomats may face 21-day quarantine in China

China warned foreign diplomats attending the Winter Olympics opening ceremony they could face 21 days in quarantine if they are deemed close contacts of positive cases in the audience. The notice, sent to diplomatic missions and seen by Bloomberg News, came amid a long list of measures that attendees must comply with to attend the Feb. 4 event. They included avoiding parties, meals with friends or even elevator chitchat, along with regular COVID-19 tests and travel restrictions. “If positive cases are found in the certain audience area, the health authority will determine the close contacts,” the notice said. “The close contacts will go through a 21-day centralized medical observation,” it added. In a statement sent to Bloomberg late Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said the Chinese side “made some reminders on epidemic prevention and health protection at the time of the invitation” given the epidemic situation and severe cold weather. “It is fair and reasonable.” (https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/01/24/sports/olympic-diplomats-held-21-day-quarantine-if-exposed/) While many countries are likely to comply with the rules, the quarantine requirement in particular is making some Western diplomats wary of attending the opening ceremony, according to one who asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.

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