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No spectators to be allowed at Tokyo Olympics

No spectators to be allowed at Tokyo Olympics
July 8, 2021

Fans will not be able to attend the majority of event venues at the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Tokyo after a Coronavirus state of emergency was declared in the Japanese capital.

Japan Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa today confirmed that escalating COVID-19 infections in Tokyo means that no spectators will be permitted for events in the capital during the Olympics.

Minister Marukawa’s advice followed a five-party meeting between the Games’ organising committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.

It had been hoped that a limited number of spectators would be able to attend events with authorities last month announcing that venues could operate at 50% capacity with up to 10,000 fans permitted. However, with Tokyo placed into a state of emergency - to be imposed 12th July to 22nd August - following a dramatic rise in reported Coronavirus infections this week, that decision has been reversed.

Venues in the neighbouring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama will also be without fans during the Olympics. A decision on fan attendance at the Paralympics is set to be made following the conclusion of the Olympics.

President of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, expressed his disappointment from the announcement, advising “it is extremely regrettable that the games will be staged in a very limited manner in the face of the spread of novel coronavirus infections.

“I am very sorry for ticket holders and local residents who were looking forward to the Games.”

With the Tokyo 2020 organising committee having projected income of 90 billion yen (US$819 million) in ticketing revenue from the Games, the banning of spectators is set to have a huge eefct on the final cost of the Games.

Organisers announced in March that overseas fans would not be allowed at the Olympics and Paralympics due to travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

The Games’ Olympic Torch relay is set to commence tomorrow but the event has already been banned from public roads over Coronavirus fears.

Image: The Japan National Stadium in Tokyo. Credit: Japan Sports Council.

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