Tokyo 2020: Decision on overseas spectators to be taken this month amid Japanese concern over increased Covid-19 risk
Olympics chiefs will decide this month whether to ban overseas spectators from this summer’s delayed Tokyo 2020 Games.
The Olympics and Paralympics are set to go ahead despite continued concern at the Covid-19 situation in Japan, which extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures on Friday.
Around 15,000 athletes and other personnel are due to travel to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Games but there is reluctance for spectators to follow them due to the risk of importing new variants of Covid-19.
An opinion poll in one newspaper found that 77 per cent opposed overseas fans attending, with only 18 per cent in favour.
“In terms of spectators there will be a decision towards the end of March, at least regarding international spectators,” said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams. “Beyond that it is too difficult to say.”
New Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto is said to favour a decision before the start of the torch relay, which is due to begin on 25 March.
The Olympics and Parlympics were postponed last year but are due to begin in July and August respectively.