The Tokyo Olympics will not have spectators at venues in Tokyo and any areas of the country that are under new measures to combat a rise in coronavirus cases.
“Venues in Tokyo will be not including spectators,” Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic minister Tamayo Marukawa said, according to a translator.
The International Olympic Committee supported the decision in a joint statement with local organizers, the Japanese government and the International Paralympic Committee.
Spectators will be allowed at some venues outside of Tokyo where the measures are not currently in place.
The Opening Ceremony is July 23. Opening and Closing Ceremonies, track and field (except marathons and race walks), swimming and gymnastics are among the events that take place in Tokyo and will not have spectators.
“A very heavy judgment was made,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said, according to a translator. “We are now faced with the COVID-19 [resurgence], so we have no other choice but to hold the Games in a limited way. … We are very sorry we are able to deliver only a limited version of the Games, but we want to have thorough operation to deliver safe and secure Games.”
Competition begins July 21 with softball and soccer games in Fukushima, where spectators are as of now allowed. Fukushima is 150 miles north of Tokyo.
On road events that don’t have spectators in the traditional stadium sense, including road cycling, triathlons, marathons and race walks, “There will be a request for refraining from going to the road side to cheer,” Hashimoto said.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government decided Thursday to issue a what it calls a “state of emergency” from Monday to Aug. 22.
A main focus of the emergency is a request for bars, restaurants and karaoke parlors serving alcohol to close.
Previously, organizers announced that overseas spectators will not be allowed inside Olympic venues.
A decision on spectators for the Tokyo Paralympics, which open Aug. 24, will be taken after the Olympics close Aug. 8.
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#Tokyo2020 Spectators Policy: mostly 'no spectators'
All five parties deeply regret for the athletes and for the spectators that this measure had to be put in place. pic.twitter.com/oKcXpx3lfP
— Tristan Lavier (@trilavier) July 8, 2021