If you think the days of seeing empty stands at sporting events were in the rearview mirror, think again.
Has been announced Thursday there will be no fans participating in the Summer Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo later this month.
The announcement coincides with Tokyo issuing a new state of emergency due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Tokyo reported 920 new infections Wednesday alone, “the highest day in charge since mid-May,” CNN said.
The restrictions will take effect from July 12 to August 22, including the entire Olympic Games.
“The priority will be to determine safe and secure Games,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said at a press conference. “We wanted to (have a) complete stage so that people in the community could participate in welcoming the athletes so we could have a complete presentation of the power of the sport … However, right now in front of COVID-19 we have no choice. choice to keep the Games in a limited way. ”
There has been a lot of scrutiny in recent months regarding the powers that be in Tokyo opening up the city for the Olympics amid concerns from the COVID public. There was also a public disagreement between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Emperor Naruhito regarding visiting athletes and fans coming to the country.
Suga initially dismissed concerns about the virus spreading after the Tokyo Games. With the current peak in COVID cases, however, it has changed its melody.
“The number of infected cases in the area including Tokyo has been growing since the end of last month,” Suga said. “The number of severe cases and the bed occupancy rate continue to be at a low level, but taking into account the impact of the variations, it is necessary to assess the countermeasures so that the infection does not spread to the whole country. “
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are set to begin on July 23.