Flights to Beijing remain an issue in the build-up to the Winter Olympics and Paralympics ©Getty Images

A total of 15 airlines have indicated they will offer flights to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, organisers revealed today.

Concerns have been raised in the build-up to the Games over a lack of flights currently entering China due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transport was cited as an issue at the Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly in Crete last month.

According to Reuters, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has cut the number of weekly international flights to and from the host nation to 408 until March.

The figure represents a drop of 644 from the summer season.

The number of scheduled international flights is reportedly 2.2 per cent of the pre-COVID figures.

Beijing 2022 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have said travel to the Games will be made possible through charter, temporary and commercial flights.

During a press briefing, organisers said 15 airlines have indicated they will provide flights to Beijing for Games participants.

Beijing 2022 said this covered 60 cities in 40 countries.

The IOC and Beijing 2022 said there was a commitment and mechanism in place to ensure transport to the host city would be sufficient, with temporary flights set to be arranged from four hubs.

Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo are set to serve as the hubs.

Organisers say temporary flights will operate from four hubs ©Getty Images
Organisers say temporary flights will operate from four hubs ©Getty Images

Participants using the hubs would have to arrange travel to their airports to secure the temporary flights to the Games.

Commercial flights will be able to enter Beijing, but organisers said they would not be allowed for departure from the host city.

Organisers reiterated that policies regarding flights are yet to be finalised, with schedules and prices expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Assistance in securing flights has been promised by Beijing 2022.

The first point of entry into China must be Beijing Capital International Airport.

The initial edition of playbooks for Beijing 2022 was published last month, with all those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 entering a "closed-loop management system".

Those inside the closed-loop management system will be tested daily for COVID-19 and may only visit approved locations using approved means of transport.

Vaccines are described as a "key tool in enabling activities to be carried out safely" within the playbook, with the IOC vowing to continue to support National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Committees to access doses.

Under the rules, it will be mandatory to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to departure for China in order to be allowed in the closed loop without quarantine.

The system will apply to all three Olympic zones in Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Yanqing and will be in place throughout the participants’ stay.

All competition and training venues as well as the Olympic and Paralympic Village and other permitted destinations fall within the closed loop.

The Winter Olympics are due to run from February 4 to 20 ©Getty Images
The Winter Olympics are due to run from February 4 to 20 ©Getty Images

COVID-19 liaison officers (CLOs) will need to be nominated by the delegations to ensure the rules are carried out.

Participants will be asked to download an application, called "My 2022", to input their daily health information for 14 days prior to their departure and during their time in China, with temperature checks conducted before entering all venues.

The CLOs must be nominated by November 7 and be registered via a portal by November 12.

Participants have been warned that they may face "disciplinary consequences" should they fail to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol, including refusing to take a test and "intentionally disrespecting mask wearing or physical distancing measures".

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are due to run from February 4 to 20, with the Paralympics set to follow from March 4 to 13.

The next versions of the playbooks are set to be published in December.