The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were rescheduled for this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, due to the fact that Tokyo has declared a state of emergency as a result of the coronavirus situation in Japan, there will now be no spectators in attendance at the Olympics.
According to CNN, Seiko Hashimoto from the Japanese Olympic Committee stated that because of the pandemic, there was “no choice but to hold the games in a limited way” — despite the fact that a host city has never banned spectators from attendance in the history of the Olympics.
Of the 42 venues for the Tokyo Olympics, 25 are in Tokyo and the rest are scheduled to take place in seven other provinces. Three of the provinces near Tokyo (Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama) will also not have spectators present at the competition venues. Miyagi, Fukushima, and Shizuoka, on the other hand, have declared that venues may operate at 50% capacity with no more than 10,000 spectators present at each. The Olympic venues will all require members to have licenses for access.
CNN also reported that the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshide Suga, said that “the number of severe cases and bed occupancy rate continues to be on the low level, but considering the impact of variants, we need to enhance countermeasures so that the infection will not spread nationwide.”
The state of emergency will last for the entire length of the Olympic Games, which are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8. The ban is surely an enormous disappointment for many athletes but seems to be an unfortunate necessity given the state of coronavirus in Japan.