Tokyo Olympics to allow entry of up to 10,000 spectators

Tokyo, Jun 21 (EFE).- Japan said Monday it would allow up to 10,000 spectators in the stands of the Tokyo Olympics, reserving the option of holding closed-door competitions in the event of an upturn in Covid-19 infections.

Tokyo 2020 organizers made the announcement after a meeting with the Japanese Executive, the regional government of the capital and those responsible for the international Olympic and Paralympic committees.

The announcement came the same day the state of emergency for coronavirus was lifted in Tokyo and other regions of the country, although certain restrictions are maintained to prevent infections, which mainly affect the opening hours of bars and restaurants.

“In line with the government’s restrictions for mass events, we have decided to set the spectator limit at 50 percent of stadium capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 spectators,” said the president of the organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto told the media.

However, if a new state of emergency were declared or other contagion prevention measures were applied, “restrictions on the number of spectators could be applied, including holding events without an audience,” the former Olympic athlete said.

The limited presence of the public in the stands of Tokyo 2020 is the last of the decisions missing within the wide range of anti-Covid-19 measures to be applied during the event, scheduled to begin Jul. 23.

The hosts previously decided to veto the entry of visitors arriving from abroad during the games, within the framework of the strict border restrictions that Japan has applied for months due to the pandemic.

The games will be held in a “bubble” format that forces athletes and foreign participants to comply with strict testing protocols, movement restrictions and preventive measures such as the use of masks and the recommendation to be vaccinated before traveling to Japan.

The number of coronavirus infections in Japan has been down since the beginning of May after the application of the third state of health emergency in the country and has recently reported about 1,500 daily cases.

Japan has also accelerated in recent weeks the rate of vaccination of its population, of which 17.9 percent has been inoculated with one dose, and 7.3 percent has received both, according to the latest available data. EFE


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