The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games announced this Saturday that the event will take place without the presence of spectators from outside Japan as a measure to contain the spread of the covid-19 pandemic.
The decision was confirmed by the Japanese minister in charge of the Olympics., Tamayo Marukawa, at the end of a meeting with the Presidents of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (ICC) and the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has been concluded that foreign spectators will not be allowed to enter Japan for the Games of # Tokio2020.
We will continue to offer safe Games in the hope that they will be a beacon of hope.https://t.co/b6NrMDSkiA
– # Tokio2020 in Spanish (@ Tokyo2020es) March 20, 2021
“At today’s meeting it has been decided to abandon the option of receiving visitors from abroad,” he said. Marukawa before the television cameras minutes before the president of Tokyo 2020, Seiko Hashimoto, appear at a press conference.
International travel remains restricted and “currently the COVID-19 situation in Japan and other countries remains challenging” and it is unclear whether the Japanese authorities will allow the entry of tourists for the summer, Hashimoto explained.
Respect for the decision
The decision, which the IOC and IPC “fully respect and accept,” he said. Hashimoto, “will help ensure a safe Olympics for all athletes and other participants, and also for the Japanese people.”
The Japanese authorities consider that allowing the entry of foreign visitors could increase the risk of spreading through the territory of new, more contagious variants of the covid.
The president of Tokyo 2020 acknowledged that the next Games in the Japanese capital “will be completely different from those of the past,” but assured that the sentiment and expectation will be the same. “For those who cannot join the Games, we will look for ways to connect them with the athletes, even if they cannot be in person,” he said.
As an athlete and former Olympian, Hashimoto she was saddened by a decision that, however, she considers “inevitable”.
The President of the IOC, Thomas Bach“He has shown disappointment with this decision, but has said that health comes first and has shown understanding,” the Japanese said about her reaction.
Although the organizers have decided to completely rule out the attendance of spectators from abroad, there is the possibility that certain people involved in the organization could enter the country, Hashimoto added without offering further details.
This would include some 8,000 people who had been selected to volunteer for the sporting event.
The head of the Tokyo Games assured that those who bought tickets to attend the event will receive their refund. So far, some 600,000 tickets for the Olympics have been sold outside of Japan. and about 30,000 for the Paralympics, he detailed Hashimoto.
It may interest you
When asked if it is contemplated to compensate for other travel expenses to those who had already planned their visit to Japan for the event, the president of Tokyo 2020 said that this is outside her competence.
The organizers of the next Olympic Games They plan to make a decision in April on the presence of spectators in the stadiums or what the limitations will be.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.