The Tokyo Olympics will happen amid a state of emergency, and without fans at events in the host city.
The Japanese government on Thursday announced that it would re-institute strict measures to counter COVID-19 surges in the capital. The measures will take effect next week, and last the duration of the Games, which officially begin July 23 and end Aug. 8.
Hours after the announcement, Olympic organizers walked back a previous decision to allow local spectators to attend events. Following an urgent late-night meeting, they announced that there will be no fans at competitions held in Tokyo and other areas affected by the state of emergency.
Organizers have not yet made final decisions on whether they’ll bar fans from events held elsewhere around the country. Some soccer, baseball and softball games, among other events, will be held in regions not covered by the emergency measures. In those regions, “local government authorities will meet and decide specific measures in consultation with the local governors based on the situation in each area,” organizers said in a statement.
The vast majority of events, however, are in Tokyo and will be staged behind closed doors.
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