Spectators barred from the Tokyo Olympic Games

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Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images
  • Japan has declared a Covid state of emergency just two weeks before the opening of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Due to this, all spectators will be barred from the event.

  • The state of emergency will be in place until 22 August, Prime minister Yoshihide Suga said.

For the fourth time since the Coronavirus pandemic began last year, Japan has been put into a Covid state of emergency, just two weeks before the opening of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.

Prime minister Yoshihide Suga said the state of emergency will be in place until 22 August but could be lifted sooner if the situation improves as people get vaccinated. The Olympic Games are set to begin on 23 July.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach arrived in Tokyo on Thursday, before the state of emergency was announced, the decision to ban all spectators from the Games was made on Thursday evening. The torch relay has also been cancelled over fears it might spread the virus.

After meeting government officials, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said: 'It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections.

'I am sorry to those who purchased tickets and everyone in local areas.'

According to the Reuters vaccination tracker, the pace of vaccines in Japan is slow, with only around 15% of the population having currently received both vaccines.

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