The Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators because the Japanese capital is forced to enter another state of emergency due to the increase in COVID-19 cases due to the delta strain of the virus.
After returning from the Tokyo area on Thursday with 896 positive tests for the coronavirus, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that a state of emergency in the area will continue until August 22-the Olympics are scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.
Soon after Yoshihide Suga’s announcement, Tokyo 2020 chairman Hashimoto Seiko revealed the “regrettable” decision to ban fans from entering the Tokyo Olympic venues because of COVID-19 restrictions.
She also believes that the performance of the athletes will not be affected by the lack of support in the stands.
“It is regrettable that in the face of the spread of coronavirus infection, we are hosting the Olympic Games in a very limited form,” Hashimoto said.
“I’m sorry for those who bought tickets.
“[Athletes] I hope that many people will watch their performances, but due to the flow of people and various concerns, many Japanese people are worried about the COVID-19 situation, even if solid countermeasures are taken.
“People expressed anxiety, and many people opposed it. Everyone has the right to have different ideas, but overcoming these differences, athletes will do their best.”
Overseas audiences have been banned from participating in the Olympics because they fear that the entry of foreigners into the Congress will pose a major challenge to COVID-19.
At this stage, there may still be fans for limited events held outside the Tokyo area in a state of emergency, and it is currently up to local authorities to decide.
The Paralympic Games is scheduled to begin on August 24, which is two days after the end of the emergency, and a decision on whether the audience can participate will be made at a later date.
Before it was originally planned to be held in July 2020, the Summer Olympics had been postponed for 12 months due to the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Athletes will face strict quarantine and isolation measures throughout the tournament to prevent virus problems.