Olympics Spectator Ban Possible If COVID-19 Situation Worsens – Tokyo Governor

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Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike reiterated on Friday that a ban on spectators for the upcoming Olympics would be an option to consider if the coronavirus situation worsened.

Returning to work after her recent hospitalization from exhaustion, she apologised for being absent as the time for the Games approached. The Olympic Games are scheduled to start on July 23, after a year’s delay due to the pandemic.

Tokyo Olympics organisers are also leaning towards banning spectators from night-time events and large-scale venues, amid persistent worries about the spread of COVID-19 just three weeks before the Games begin.

The governors of Chiba and Saitama prefectures near Tokyo have already been urging organisers to ban spectators from night-time events in their localities.

Their request is being discussed and a decision will be made at five-way talks that will include the Tokyo governor, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the head of Tokyo 2020.

Organisers have pledged to make the Games “safe and secure”, arguing other large sporting events have been held safely.

While they have banned overseas spectators, they have so far decided to cap the number of domestic spectators to 10,000 per venue for the Games, or 50% of capacity, despite medical experts saying no spectators would be the “least risky” option.

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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