Tokyo Olympics: Fans largely barred as Covid emergency declared

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The Olympic Games in Japan are going to be held without spectators at venues in and around the capital after a spike in coronavirus infections.

Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa made the announcement after talks with officials and organisers on Thursday.

A state of emergency in Tokyo will run throughout the Games, to combat coronavirus.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters it might run from 12 July and remain in situ until 22 August.

Bars and restaurants won’t be allowed to serve alcohol and must accessible at 20:00 (11:00 GMT).

Venues in Tokyo and other areas near the capital city won’t be allowed to carry events with fans during the Games.

But stadiums within the regions of Fukushima, Miyagi and Shizuoka are going to be permitted to possess spectators up to 50% of capacity and up to 10,000 people.

Coronavirus infections are rising in Tokyo because the 23 July opening ceremony edges closer.

There has been widespread opposition to the Games in Japan, with involves them being postponed or cancelled.

When are the Olympics and way will Covid change them?
Japan’s battle to contain Covid before the Olympics
After meeting officialdom, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said: “It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games during a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections.

“I am sorry to those that purchased tickets and everybody in local areas.”

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said that holding Olympic events without spectators was “heart-breaking” for those that wanted to attend. it had been not immediately clear if refunds are going to be made available to some or all ticketholders.

Mr Suga announced the state of emergency in Tokyo earlier within the day.

“Taking into consideration the effect of coronavirus variants and to not let the infections spread again to the remainder of the state, we’d like to strengthen our countermeasures,” the prime minister said.

The state of emergency was announced after a gathering between the organising committee, the govt and therefore the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, who has just arrived in Japan.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to require place within Tokyo between 23 July and eight August. The Paralympic Games are between 24 August and 5 September.

What’s happening with Covid in Japan?
A new wave of infections began in April, but overall the country has had relatively low case numbers and a price of around 14,900.

On Wednesday, there have been 2,180 new cases reported within the country. Some 920 of these were in Tokyo, up from 714 last week and its highest since 1,010 on 13 May.

Japan’s vaccination rollout has been slow, and just over 15% of the country is fully vaccinated. there’s rising concern over the threat of the Delta variant.

In Tokyo and Osaka, the 2 cities hit hardest by the recent surge, authorities hope over-65s are going to be fully vaccinated by the top of July.

Entry to Japan by foreigners from 159 countries – including the united kingdom – is currently banned.

Do people in Japan want the Olympics?
There is much opposition to the Games, which have already been postponed by a year due to Covid-19 and have experienced setbacks, including massive budget overruns.

A June poll within the leading Asahi Shimbun newspaper suggested quite 80% of the population wanted the Games cancelled or postponed.

The paper also involved them to be cancelled.

Public spectator sites are scrapped and corporations are hesitant about advertising associated with the Olympics due to the widespread opposition to them.

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