To the great disappointment of Olympic Game fans, Japan has placed Tokyo under a state of emergency that would carry through till the end of the games and beyond.
In a Thursday morning meeting, government officials discussed plans that would bar all spectators from events in the capital city, fearing that the games would cause a surge of Covid cases.
The Tokyo games begin July 23rd and close August 8th and were already slated for local audiences only. The 6- week state-of-emergency, set to begin Monday, July 12th and in place till August 22nd, will prohibit locals from attending as well. Spectators may still be considered for events held outside of Tokyo.
Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee, calls the situation “regrettable” lamenting the fact that the sporting event would be held in such a limited format in her nation’s capital.
“A very heavy judgment was made,” she said while speaking with the press, claiming that they had “no choice but to hold the Games in a limited way”, due to the pandemic.
Breaking: Spectators will be barred from all venues at the Olympic Games, which start later this month in Tokyo, amid a coronavirus-related state of emergency announced Thursday. https://t.co/H0e2JLeqty
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 8, 2021
The move to disallow even local spectators is expected to force the event to seek 800 million dollars in bailout money, as refunds would have to be issued.