There will be no spectators in the stands at the Summer Olympics after a surge of COVID-19 led Japan to declare a state of emergency.
It’s another huge blow to the spectacle and finances of the delayed and scaled-back Olympics, just two weeks ahead of the opening ceremony.
Organizers had planned to allow venues to be filled up to 50% capacity, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators and no overseas fans. A surge in COVID-19 cases and the low rate of vaccinations forced them to reconsider.
Tokyo’s fourth coronavirus state of emergency will run from this Monday, July 12 until Aug. 22, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said. Bars and restaurants will be requested to suspend alcohol sales under the measures.
According to ESPN, Tokyo reported 920 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday – the highest total since 1,010 were reported on May 13.
The Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are schedueld to begin on July 23.