Tokyo Games 2020

Tokyo Olympics organizers ban spectators on COVID-19 fears

Published : July 08, 2021 20:36 IST

The delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo are to be held with no live audience. Photo: Motoya Taguchi/Jiji Press/dpa/picture alliance

Organizing chief Seiko Hashimoto said it is regrettable that the Olympics will be held "in a very limited format."

The Olympic Games in Tokyo will be held with no spectators, organizers announced on July 8, after Japan's Prime Minister called a state of emergency in the capital.

"We had no other choice," said local organizing chief Seiko Hashimoto on Thursday, after originally hoping the venues could be at least half full.

The Tokyo Games, scheduled from July 23 to August 8, are being held after a delay despite opposition from medical experts and the majority of the public.

Japan has already banned overseas spectators in a bid to curb infections. The officials have also set a cap on domestic viewers at 50% of capacity, up to 10,000 people, before deciding for a complete ban.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach arrived in Japan on July 8. He is set to spend three days in self-isolation to minimize the risk of infection.