- BBC News World
The stands at the Tokyo Olympics will not have an audience.
This was announced on Thursday by the minister in charge of the organization, Tamayo Marukawa.
The measure responds to the state of emergency decreed for the capital of Japan before the increase in coronavirus cases.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the declaration will be in effect froml July 12 al 22nd of August.
It will encompass both Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony, dJuly 23, like the closing one, on August 8.
Bars and restaurants may not serve alcoholic beverages and must close before 8pm.
The public places for spectators have been closed.
A difficult decision
Coronavirus infections have been increasing in Tokyo in recent weeks, prompting authorities and organizers to consider declaring a state of emergency to prevent further infections.
In the country there has also been a widespread opposition of the population to the realization of the Games. Many Japanese have even campaigned for them to be canceled.
The president of Tokyo 2020, Seiko Hashimoto, said it was a “regrettable” situation and acknowledged that this edition of the Olympic Games will have “a very limited format” before the advance of the pandemic.
“I’m sorry for those who bought tickets and for everyone in the local areas.”
For his part, Prime Minister Suga said that the decision seeks to prevent new variants of the coronavirus from spreading through the country.
The state of emergency was announced after a meeting between the organizing committee, the government and the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, after his arrival in Japan.
The Paralympic Games will be held between August 24 and September 5, but it has not yet been determined if the limitations will be lifted by then.
The situation in Japan
The new wave of covid-19 cases in Japan started in April, but overall the country has had a relatively low number of cases and the death toll is around 14,900.
On Wednesday, 2,180 new cases were reported. About 920 of them were in Tokyo, up from 714 last week.
The application of vaccines has been slow. Little more than 15% off the population you have received the necessary doses.
And there is growing concern about the threat from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
The pandemic has caused much opposition to the Olympics, which were due to take place in 2020.
A June poll in the major Japanese newspaper suggested that more than 80% of the population wanted the Games to be canceled or postponed one more time.
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Downloadour app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.