All spectators banned from Tokyo Olympics, with state of emergency declared

Spectators will be banned from Olympic events in Tokyo after the city declared its fourth state of emergency.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its decision on Thursday after meeting with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the games’ organising committee and the Japanese government.

“No spectators will be allowed into any venues in Tokyo during the Olympic Games,” the IOC said.

“Under this policy, in areas where emergency measures are not in force, local government authorities will meet and decide specific measures in consultation with the local governors based on the situation in each area.”

A decision on whether spectators will be allowed to watch the Paralympic Games live will be made when the Olympic Games end.

The decision was made after Tokyo recorded 920 new COVID-19 infections, its highest number since May, according to The Guardian.

On Saturday, Tokyo recorded a further 950 new cases, just two weeks before the opening ceremony is scheduled to kick off the games.

The city is the hardest hit area in Japan, with almost double the amount of cases on record than any other city.

In March, Japan announced it would not allow overseas spectators to attend the games, due to the global pandemic

Between 50 and 80 per cent of Japan’s population have said they oppose holding the Olympics altogether, according to the Associated Press.

While the pandemic has not been as severe in Japan as it has for many of its neighbours, the country has recorded almost 15,000 deaths as a result of the pandemic and 819,000 cases all up.

The Tokyo Olympics were originally set to take place last year but were officially postponed in March 2020, following advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Featured image source: iStock/Fiers