Tokyo 2021: Japan bans foreign fans from participating in the Olympics due to the risk of COVID-19 | World news

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 Tokyo 2021: Japan bans foreign fans from participating in the Olympics due to the risk of COVID-19 |  World news


The delayed Tokyo Olympics will take place without foreign supporters and volunteers, the organizing committee has decided.

Games, which were postponed from last year due to the coronavirus, are scheduled to open from July 23 to August 8.

The Paralympic Games must follow from August 25 to September 5.

The decision was made by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee following group discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), local organizers, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the International Paralympic Committee.

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Passers-by walk past a countdown to the Games

Overseas ticket holders will be able to request a refund for Olympic and Paralympic ticket purchases, but canceled hotel reservation fees will not be covered, Tokyo Organizing Committee CEO Toshiro Muto confirmed. .

This means that approximately 600,000 Olympic tickets and approximately 300,000 Paralympic tickets will need to be reimbursed. Organizers say they will not unlock the costs of these refunds.

So far, the Olympics have been inundated with problems.

The Olympic Torch Relay – which sees 10,000 runners crisscrossing Japan to reach the Opening Ceremony and is slated to begin next week – saw several athletes dissipate for fear of drawing crowds that could help spread the pandemic.

And outside of COVID-19, there have been several high-level committee departures due to sexist comments about women, including the comparison of a popular Japanese artist with a pig.

While the number of coronavirus infections has been relatively low in Japan compared to the United States and many European countries, the country has been hit hard by the third wave of the pandemic and Tokyo is currently under the state of ’emergency.

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Tokyo Olympics creative director Hiroshi Sasaki quits after pork comments

Japan has recorded more than 454,300 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with a death toll of more than 8,700.

Vaccinations are only just beginning in Japan.

About 80% of Japanese in polls believe the Games should be postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many fearing that a large influx of international visitors could trigger a resurgence in infections.

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The Olympic and Paralympic Games will involve 15,400 athletes from more than 200 countries, most operating in a bubble connecting venues, training facilities and the Tokyo Bay Olympic Village.

Proof of vaccination is not required to compete, and it is understood that tens of thousands of other people involved in the Games will also arrive and operate outside the bubble, including officials, judges, sponsors, media, VIPs and broadcasters.

The committee said it will disclose more details for Games participants by the end of April, and will also confirm whether they will cap the number of spectators allowed at each venue.

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