China doesn’t deal lightly with people who spread rumors online, especially when it comes to COVID-19. One individual recently found that out the hard way.
According to Beijing Youth Daily, rumors began to spread on various WeChat groups stating, “Walmart supermarket (in Beijing’s Yanqing district) is to be used as a designated shopping area for foreign athletes during the Winter Olympics test events. Do not go there.”
The message appeared to suggest that the supermarket may become a risk area for COVID-19 infection, given the presence of overseas arrivals.
However, the reality is that all foreign athletes and coaches who arrive in Beijing for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games will be required to stay in a ‘closed-loop’ environment, or ‘bubble.’
The Walmart supermarket in Yanqing is not within the ‘bubble.’
The individual who spread the rumor is being held by police for seven days and has received a RMB200 fine, according to Global Times.
Of course, it’s not the first time that COVID-19-related rumors have been spread online.
Yanqing district lies northwest of the center of Beijing, and includes scenic spots such as the Badaling section of the Great Wall. The district is home to the Olympic village where 1,430 athletes and team officials will reside during the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Furthermore, venues within the district will also play host to alpine skiing, bobsled, luge and skeleton.
The Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing from February 4-20, 2022. Meanwhile, the Winter Paralympics will take place from March 4-13, 2022.
China has already made clear that strict COVID-19 rules will be in place during the Games. But, you'll still be able to go to Walmart.
[Cover image via Pexels]