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Tokyo 2020 organisers confirm no international fans to attend Olympics and Paralympics
Japanese authorities have confirmed to the International Olympic and International Paralympic Committees that no international fans will be permitted at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Games because of concerns over continued Coronavirus outbreaks.
With areas of Japan still affected by lockdown measures, authorities have said it is "highly unlikely" that overseas spectators would be able to enter the country.
Organisers said the "challenging" COVID-19 situation in Japan and many other countries, global travel restrictions and emergence of variant strains of the Coronavirus had led to the decision.
Stating that the announcement would give "clarity" to ticket holders and help ensure "a safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public", organisers also advised that ticket holders would be refunded.
International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach said the move is a "great sacrifice for everybody", commenting “we share the disappointment of all enthusiastic Olympic fans from around the world, and of course the families and friends of the athletes, who were planning to come to the Games.
"For this I am truly sorry.
"Every decision has to respect the principle of safety first. I know that our Japanese partners and friends did not reach this conclusion lightly.
"We stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the side of our Japanese partners and friends, without any kind of reservation, to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 a great success."
International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said "difficult decisions" had to be made with safety the "top priority", noting “it goes without saying that in an ideal world we would prefer to have international spectators at the Games.”
The exclusion of international fans represents a major financial blow to the Tokyo Olympics, with the costs for the Games having increased by US$2.8 billion because of measures needed to prevent the.
Postponed for the first time in their history as of March last year because of the growing spread of coronavirus across the world, organisers have consistently ruled out a further changes to the Games’ dates.
The Olympics are due to begin on 23rd July and the Paralympics on 24th August.
23rd January 2021 - IOC insists Tokyo Olympics will not be cancelled because of COVID-19 pandemic
22nd January 2021 - Reports suggest Tokyo Olympics likely to be cancelled
8th January 2021 - Senior IOC member uncertain as to whether Tokyo Olympics will go ahead
23rd December 2020 - Tokyo Olympics costs rise to US$15.4 billion
28th October 2020 - Aquatic Centre for Tokyo 2020 Olympics opens to the public
20th October 2020 - Reports reveal plan by Russian intelligence services to hack Tokyo Olympics
8th October 2020 - Tokyo Olympics organisers to cut costs by US$283 million
23rd September 2020 - Tokyo 2020 organisers outline Coronavirus protection plans for Olympic participants
1st October 2020 - Global sports survey shows impact of COVID-19 pandemic
2nd January 2021 - Japanese Prime Minister insists Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in 2021
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