2021 Tokyo Olympics to be staged entirely behind closed doors

No fans would be permitted inside stadium during the entirety of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Tokyo will be under a virus state of emergency throughout the event. The recent surge in the number of infections, including the more contagious Delta strain has prompted the officials to take such a step.

The Tokyo Olympic Games were postponed by one whole year after the COVID-19 outbreak in March last year. Even though the situation has not been favourable this time too, the organisers were adamant to stage the event despite backlash from the local people. However, it was decided that no overseas spectators would be allowed to enter the host city, to curb the spread of the virus.

On the other hand, the committee was aiming to allow at least 10,000 local fans in venues during the Games. However, as things stand, the IOC (International Olympics Committee) has decided against allowing any spectators at all, with the Olympics to be held entirely behind closed doors. The recent surge in infections and the risk of transmitting the more contagious Delta strain has prompted the officials to take such a step.

On top of that, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday announced that Tokyo would be under virus emergency from July 12 to August 22. Although spectators would be barred entirely in Tokyo and three surrounding regions, a limited number of people would be permitted in other regions.

“I am very sorry for those people who will be disappointed, but in order to prevent the spread of the virus, this was the only choice available for us to take. At the same time, all five parties (also including local organisers, the Japanese government, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government) deeply regret for the athletes and for the spectators that this measure had to be put in place,” said Tokyo 2020 Games president Seiko Hashimoto.

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