Olympics to be held without spectators after Tokyo declares 'Covid State of Emergency'
By Our Correspondent, 09/07/2021, Tokyo

The Olympics will take place without spectators in host city Tokyo as a resurgent coronavirus forced Japan to declare a COVID State of Emergency in the capital that will run throughout the event. Japan's Minister for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tamayo Marukawa made the announcement yesterday meaning the Games will happen mostly behind closed doors.

Ms Marukawa said, they reached an agreement on no spectators at venues in Tokyo after talks with local and national government officials, organisers and Olympic and Paralympic chiefs.

Most Olympic competition will happen in Tokyo, but a few events will be held outside the Japanese capital. Ms Marukawa said that, in other areas, organisers would decide on "concrete measures" for spectators after discussions with each local governor.

The public has already been asked to stay away from the marathon, which is being held in the northern Hokkaido region to beat Tokyo's summer heat.

And large parts of the torch relay traversing the country have also been held behind closed doors because of virus concerns.

The spectator decision comes after Japan's government yesterday said that Tokyo would be under a coronavirus state of emergency from 12th of this month to 22nd of August.

The measure is much looser than harsh lockdowns seen elsewhere, but comes with infections rising in the capital and concern about the increased prevalence of the Delta variant.