No spectators at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
Olympic organisers have decided to hold the Tokyo Games without spectators, as Japan struggles to stem a new wave of coronavirus infections
Olympic organisers have decided to hold the Tokyo Games without spectators, as Japan struggles to stem a new wave of coronavirus infections with a state of emergency for Tokyo that will end after the 23 July-8 August Games.
Tokyo declares state of emergency
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Thursday evening that a state of emergency would be in place in the capital from Monday 12 July to 22 August - two weeks after the Olympics have finished and two days before the start of the Paraolympics. This week, Tokyo reported 920 new positive Covid-19 infections - the largest rise in cases since May. Covid-19 cases have been steadily rising in Tokyo since June. Under the new measures, restaurants and bars will close at 8pm and attendance at other local events will be halved from 10,000 to a maximum of 5,000 or 50% of the venue's capacity.
Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukaw announced that spectators will not be allowed to attend the event following a decision made by International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and representatives of the games organizing committee, the International Paralympic Committee, as well as the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments.
Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto explained, "It is extremely regrettable that the Games will be held in a very limited manner due to the spread of coronavirus infections. I am very sorry for ticket holders and local residents who were looking forward to the games."
Delta variant on the rise in Japan
Japan reported on Wednesday that the Delta variant now accounts for nearly a third of all cases in the eastern part of the country, with Delta Covid-19 cases at 14% in Tokyo. Officials are concerned that the number could grow to 50% by mid July.