Tokyo Olympics organisers are still considering banning spectators altogether if the city’s coronavirus situation worsens.
President Hashimoto asked for public understanding over strict rules as the country continues to battle the pandemic, ahead of the Games which start on 23 July. Foreign fans have already been ruled out by organisers and Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike reiterated on Friday that an outright ban on spectators was an option.
Koike, who was returning to work after recent hospitalisation for exhaustion and apologised for her absence at a critical time, confirmed that the proportion of variants among Covid cases is rising and urged public caution. The Japanese government will hold cross-party talks over the matter on 8 July, two weeks before the Games begin.
Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita said this week that there is “no way” to stop a spike in cases during the Olympics.
“No matter what measures are put in place, there is no way we will have zero positive cases arriving,” said Yamashita. “Even if you’ve had two vaccine doses, it doesn’t guarantee every individual will be negative. In order to make sure no clusters arise, we need to have thorough measures at the border at the time of entry to Japan.”
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