Up to 10,000 fans allowed at Tokyo Olympics events - RTHK
A A A
Temperature Humidity
News Archive Can search within past 12 months

Up to 10,000 fans allowed at Tokyo Olympics events

2021-06-21 HKT 16:59
Share this story facebook
  • The decision was announced after five-way talks between Tokyo 2020 organisers and officials from Japan's government, the Tokyo government, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. Photo: AFP
    The decision was announced after five-way talks between Tokyo 2020 organisers and officials from Japan's government, the Tokyo government, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. Photo: AFP
Up to 10,000 fans will be allowed at Tokyo Olympic events, organisers said Monday, warning competition could move behind closed doors if infections surge.

The decision, just weeks before the opening ceremony, ends months of speculation about whether spectators will be allowed at the pandemic-postponed Games.

Overseas fans were banned in March.

"In light of the government's restrictions on public events, the spectator limit for the Olympic Games will be set at 50 percent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people in all venues," organisers said in a statement.

A decision on spectators at the Paralympics will be delayed until July 16, a week before the Olympics open.

And officials left open the possibility of a reversal if the virus rebounds.

"If there should be major dramatic change in the infection situation, we may need to revisit this matter amongst ourselves and we may need to consider the option of having no spectators in the venues," Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said.

Senior medical experts, including top advisors to the government, have said that holding the Games behind closed doors would be "ideal" from a health perspective.

They fear crowds of fans could fuel a new surge in infections in a country still racing to vaccinate its residents.

The decision was announced after five-way talks between Tokyo 2020 organisers and officials from Japan's government, the Tokyo government, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.

Speaking before the meeting, IOC chief Thomas Bach said he was "absolutely sure that it will be a decision to best protect the Japanese people and all participants".

Organisers say strict rules will keep both athletes and the public safe, and Bach said Monday that "well over" 80 percent of people staying in the Olympic Village will be vaccinated.

Athletes will be barred from contact with the public and risk being kicked out of the Games if they violate rules including mask-wearing and daily virus tests.

In a taste of the complexities ahead, a member of Uganda's Olympic team tested positive on arrival in Japan on Saturday.

The team was reportedly all vaccinated and would have had to test negative before travel to Japan. (AFP)