The Olympic Games will begin on July 23 and end on August 8. However, an announcement today was made stating due to the declaration of a new state of emergency, no spectators will be allowed at the Olympics in Tokyo. The declaration will begin on Monday and runs through Aug. 22.
At a press conference after meeting with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the government of Japan, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 intendant Seiko Hashimoto said, “The priority will be to determine a safe and secure Games.”
She continued, “We wanted a full stadium so that people from the community could participate in welcoming the athletes and thus have a full presentation of the power of sport.” She added, “However, now in the face of COVID-19 we have no choice but to hold the Games on a limited basis.”
However, the possibility of fans attending events outside Tokyo, in areas not under a state of emergency, is still under discussion. Organizers had to delay the decision to allow Japanese fans to enter several times, as foreign fans were banned in March.
On June 21, the organizers announced that there would be a limited number of spectators, with a facility capacity limit of 50% and a maximum of 10,000 fans.
Organizers set further restrictions to avoid overcrowding, and to support this, asked fans to retire directly to their homes after the events.
“There are many people who were looking forward to the Games, both those who bought tickets and the local community, and we are very sorry that we cannot offer a limited Games,” Hashimoto said. “But we want to carry out a comprehensive operation to ensure a safe Games.”
Tokyo reported 896 new covid cases on Thursday. It is the 19th consecutive day that cases have exceeded the established mark. Wednesday’s new cases reached 920, the highest total since the 1,010 recorded on May 13.
This announcement is a blow to Tokyo organizers and will increase the cost of the Games for the Japanese. Tokyo 2020 had originally budgeted that it would be $800 million. And currently, the official cost of the Games is already $15.4 billion, although they believe it is higher.