17 Jan. Authorities in China and Hong Kong have been forcing cutbacks in air service and applying stepped-up COVID-19 restrictions as the Winter Olympics approach.
The restrictions appear to reflect both health and political concerns. The Winter Olympics are scheduled to begin Feb. 4 in Beijing. China has taken a zero-tolerance approach to the virus, even before the highly contagious omicron became the predominant strain. Borders are nearly closed currently.
On Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, China said it was ending ticket sales even for locals (foreigners had already been banned). A recent report of a case of the omicron variant in Beijing apparently the cause. There is also a ban on internal travel to the city.
Source: Points Guy.