TOKYO 2020: Fans Barred from Olympics as Covid Emergency Declared in Japan
Olympic Games in Japan will be held without spectators at venues in and around the capital after a spike in coronavirus infections.
Olympics Minister, Tamayo Marukawa, made the announcement after talks with oĜcials and organisers yesterday.
A state of emergency in Tokyo will run throughout the Games, to combat coronavirus.
rime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters it would run from 12 July and remain in place until 22 August.
Bars and restaurants will not be allowed to serve alcohol and must close by 20:00 (11:00 GMT).
Venues in Tokyo and other areas near the capital city will not be allowed to hold events with fans during the Games.
But stadiums in the regions of Fukushima, Miyagi and Shi£uoka will be permiĴed to have spectators up to 50% of capacity and up to 10,000 people.
Coronavirus infections are rising in Tokyo as the 23 July opening ceremony edges closer.
There has been widespread opposition to the Games in Japan, with calls for them to be postponed or cancelled.
After meeting government oĜcials, Tokyo 2020 resident, Seiko Hashimoto, said: "It is regreĴable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections.
"I am sorry to those who purchased tickets and everyone in local areas."
Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike, said that holding Olympic events without spectators was "heart-breaking" for those who wanted to aĴend. It was not immediately clear if refunds will be made available to some or all ticketholders.
Mr Suga announced the state of emergency in Tokyo earlier in the day.
"Taking into consideration the eěect of coronavirus variants and not to let the infections spread again to the rest of the nation, we need to strengthen our countermeasures," the prime minister said.