This year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will take place without overseas spectators due to COVID-19 risks.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the organising committee of this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games has decided to bar international fans from attending.
The decision to continue the Games without foreign fans was made after a virtual meeting amongst various officials on Saturday (Mar 20).
A joint statement released by the organising committee said that the COVID-19 situation in Japan and other countries remains a challenge, especially with more variant strains emerging. Hence, international travel is still restricted globally.
This conclusion will further ensure the safety and security of the Games for all participants and the Japanese public. Tokyo 2020 was originally scheduled to take place from Jul 24 to Aug 9 last year, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
The Olympic Games have since been rescheduled to take place between Jul 23 and Aug 8 this year. The Paralympics is to follow from Aug 24 to Sep 5.
Overseas fans who have purchased their tickets for the upcoming Games will be fully refunded. The organisers are currently working on plans to help international fans to continue supporting the Games.
The International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said that they share the disappointment of families and friends of the athletes who are unable to attend the Games.
He said: “We know that this is a great sacrifice for everybody, we have said from the very beginning of this pandemic that it will require sacrifices. But we have also said that the first principle is safety.”
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