mandag 12. juli 2021

Tokyo Olympics: Spectators largely barred as Covid emergency declared

The Olympic Games in Japan will be held without spectators at venues in and around the capital after a spike in coronavirus infections. Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa made the announcement after talks with officials and organisers on Thursday. A state of emergency in Tokyo will run throughout the Games, to combat coronavirus.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters it would run from 12 July and remain in place until 22 August. Bars and restaurants will not be allowed to serve alcohol and must close by 20:00 (11:00 GMT). Venues in Tokyo and other areas near the capital city will not be allowed to hold events with fans during the Games. But stadiums in the regions of Fukushima, Miyagi and Shizuoka will be permitted to have spectators up to 50% of capacity and up to 10,000 people.

Coronavirus infections are rising in Tokyo as the 23 July opening ceremony edges closer. There has been widespread opposition to the Games in Japan, with calls for them to be postponed or cancelled.