Regulations to be implemented during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing were discussed yesterday afternoon at a Beijing Olympics Legislation Coordination Work Meeting. The measures mooted touched on several aspects including health and safety, and traffic.
The regulations were divided into the following five broad categories: items under local government jurisdiction; items that require coordination with the central government; items that do not require special legislation; items that can be carried out under current regulations; and others.
Sixty-five key items or issues were identified, and research and drafting work is to start as soon as possible on 11 of those 65 items, including volunteers and security checks, which fall under local government jurisdiction. They will be added to the legislation plan of the Beijing municipal government later this year or by next year.
Issues including the management of those without Beijing residence registration, vacation time during the Games and vehicle restriction will be solved through regulations to be stipulated by the municipal government and other relevant departments.
Other matters such as special immigration channels at checkpoints, and the entry of persons who are HIV-positive into the country will be decided by the State Council.
According to Chinese law, carriers of four diseases including HIV/AIDS are not allowed to enter China. The law is not in accordance with the commitment China made when bidding to host the Games. The matter will be taken up by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China, and the State Council.
Vehicle restrictions in the city and around Olympics venues
According to Article 39 of the Traffic Safety Law, both the public security and the traffic administrations have the right to impose traffic restrictions in line with real-time needs. The major measures under consideration include:
1. Restricting vehicle numbers within the Fifth Ring Road areas on the basis of license plates;
2. Restricting or limiting vehicular traffic on certain streets around Olympics venues;
3. Cordoning off routes reserved for use only by authorized persons or entities; and
4. Provisional restrictive measures in case of emergencies.
These measures are being drafted and should be completed by the end of the year.
Restrictions on non-Beijing vehicles
During the Games, the municipal bureau of public security will impose restrictions on non-Beijing vehicles entering the city.
In line with the Labor Law, certain manufacturing enterprises are allowed to adjust their holiday schedules and calculate their employees' working hours accordingly. Holidays taken during the Games can be made up by working hours either prior to or after the Games. Such shifts will not involve additional payment to employees. However, not all enterprises are eligible. For the service industry, some might have to work extra shifts. The maximum number of holidays that can be taken during the Games is 16 days. Employers are advised to consult the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG). Government work units and institutions are at liberty to schedule holiday shifts as they see fit.
Public viewing at the Olympics Square
Big screens will be set up at the Olympics Square. Catering and retail services will also be provided. Details relating to the roles of relevant departments and agencies in managing this aspect are being worked out.
No smoking in stadiums
The stadiums have yet to be included to regulations prohibiting smoking in public places. However, smoking in stadiums will not be allowed during the Games in accordance with the no-smoking Olympics agreement signed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The argument for bilingual signboards
Beijing's Foreign Affairs Office has been studying the feasibility of converting all signboards by the end of 2007.
Free bus services
All athletes, registered media representatives and volunteers will be provided with free bus services throughout the duration of the Games. Spectators will also be able to take buses for free on days when they have valid tickets for events.
(China.org.cn September 15, 2006)