Sport 15:17 08/07/2021 World

Japan imposes coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo throughout Olympics

Japan's government on Thursday announced a new virus state of emergency stretching throughout the Tokyo Olympics, as reports said organisers could bar fans from almost all events at the Games, France 24 reports.

"We will impose the state of emergency in Tokyo," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a government meeting on infection measures. "The period will be until August 22.

With just two weeks until the July 23 opening ceremony, coronavirus infections are rising in the capital, and the spread of the more infectious Delta variant has spooked officials.

The rising cases threaten to derail plans to let up to 10,000 local fans into Olympic venues, and could mean Tokyo 2020 is the first-ever Games held behind closed doors.

"The number of new cases continues to rise in Tokyo," warned Japan's minister in charge of the virus response Yasutoshi Nishimura on Thursday.

"As the movement of people increases, the more infectious Delta variant now accounts for around 30 percent of cases. This is expected to expand further," he added.

The virus emergency rules are looser than the harsh lockdowns seen in other parts of the world.

Alcohol will be banned at bars and restaurants, which will have to close by 8pm, and events such as concerts and conferences will have to end by 9pm.

And crucially, spectators at events will be capped at 5,000 people or 50 percent venue capacity, whichever is less.



Source Panorama.am
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