Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have confirmed that no international spectators will be permitted at the event. The organising committee said it had been prepared to welcome guests until recently, but an upsurge of Covid-19 cases around the world had now made this impossible.
The event itself has been delayed by a year as the pandemic continues to sweep the globe. Tokyo is currently set to welcome the event for two weeks from July 23rd, with the Paralympics to follow in late August.
Tokyo 2020 president, Hashimoto Seiko, said: “In many ways the Tokyo 2020 Games will be completely different to any previous games. However, the essentials of the games will remain unchanged, as athletes give their utmost and inspire the world with transcendent performances. We are currently working on specific plans to share support remotely from around the world and help bring people together in ways suited to our current times. Even if you are no longer able to come to Japan this summer, we hope very much that you will continue to support the Tokyo 2020 Games.”
The International Olympic Committee said the government of Japan had taken the decision. Olympic and Paralympic tickets purchased by overseas residents will be refunded, the body added.
Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Japan and many other countries around the world is still very challenging and a number of variant strains have emerged. As a result, international travel remains severely restricted globally.