AP PHOTOS: Bye bye bubble — but 1 final zero-COVID reminder

BEIJING (AP) — Leaving the Winter Olympics brings one full circle with a final early morning visit to an eerily empty Beijing airport.

Like a scene out of Steven Soderbergh’s pandemic thriller “Contagion,” masked travelers are greeted by an army of workers in full hazmat suits — white with blue stripes — with face shields or masks and goggles, a final, nondescript interaction after weeks inside the closed loop that kept Games participants separate from the general population.

Whether checking in visitors for their flights or carrying an athlete’s skis, these hermetically sealed workers facelessly run the airport. AP photographers on their way home from the Olympics captured them on the job.

A worker addressing his crew lined up like sentries added drawings of the popular Olympics mascot Bing Dwen Dwen to the back of a suit. Another crew gets a push on a cart, bobsled team-like. Canada’s hockey team’s bags get taken for a ride.

No matter the task, it’s being done in full protective gear, a last shield from the coronavirus in a zero-COVID policy country.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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