Sport 20:26 08/07/2021 World

Tokyo bans Olympic spectators amid COVID-19 emergency

The Olympics will take place without spectators in host city Tokyo, organisers said on Thursday, as a resurgent coronavirus forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will run throughout the event, Reuters reported.

Although widely expected, the move marked a sharp turnabout from just weeks ago, when organisers said they aimed to hold the global sporting showpiece with some spectators, and all but robs the July 23 to Aug. 8 Games of their last vestige of pomp and public spectacle.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was essential to prevent Tokyo, where the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant was spreading, from becoming the source of another wave of infections.

Venues outside the greater Tokyo metropolitan area would allow small numbers of spectators, and the policy for the Paralympics will be decided next month, the government said. 

"It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections," Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said following talks between government officials, Tokyo organisers and Olympic and Paralympic representatives.

"I am sorry for those who purchased tickets."



Source Panorama.am
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