STEPHEN WADEAP Sports Writer
Tokyo (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to participate when the game begins in just over a month, Organizing Committee officials and the IOC said Monday.
The organizers have set a 50% capacity limit for up to 10,000 fans at all Olympic venues.
The decision was announced after so-called five-party online consultations with local organizers, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Government of Japan and the Government of Tokyo.
This decision contradicts Dr. Shigeru Omi, the country’s best medical adviser, who recommended last week that the safest way to host the Olympics is without fans. He used to call hosting the Olympics during a pandemic “abnormal.”
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start on July 23.
Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of the local organizing committee, said it was important to be aware of the uncertainties regarding the pandemic during the match.
“We need to be very flexible. If things change suddenly, we will hold another five-party meeting and make a decision,” Hashimoto said. Will be considered. “
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Fans from abroad were banned a few months ago. Officials say local fans will be subject to strict rules. They are not allowed to cheer, have to wear masks, and are then told to go straight home.
According to the organizers, 3.6 to 3.7 million tickets are in the hands of Japanese people.
If there are fans at the venue, there is a risk that COVID-19 infection will spread not only at the venue but also at the venue because the circulation in public spaces such as commuter trains and restaurants will increase.
Tokyo and other regions are in a “quasi-emergency” state until July 11. This replaced the more severe and complete emergency that was in effect until last weekend. The new rules will allow restaurants to serve alcohol in a limited amount of time.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who supported the permission of the fans, said before the official announcement that he would ban the fans if the situation changed.
“In case of emergency, I’m flexible and unacceptable to achieve that the game puts people’s safety and security first,” Suga said. “In an emergency, it’s pretty possible … for safety and security (game) I don’t hesitate to have no fans.”
He said he took Omi’s recommendation “seriously” but did not follow it.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike also said before the meeting that fans may need to be banned if circumstances change.
“Under this COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Tokyo and Japan are very anxious. We are concerned and experts are also making recommendations on the risk of spreading the infection.” Said Mr. Koike. “If there are significant changes in hygiene or infection, we will have to revisit this issue ourselves and may need to consider the option of not having an audience at the venue.”
Recent polls, depending on how the question is said, seem to be gaining support for the Olympics, although there is strong opposition. A poll of about 1,500 people in the Asahi Shimbun, June 19-20, showed that 62% supported another postponement or cancellation of the game. However, about one-third supported the Olympics, up from 14% in May in the same poll.
In the same survey, 83% said they were “worried” that the Olympics could spread the virus. Polls say 53% don’t want fans and 42% should limit attendance.
The average 7-day average of new infections in Tokyo is about 400 per day. The curve has flattened, but health officials are afraid of the Olympics, and new varieties will push it up.
According to statistics from the Prime Minister’s Office, about 6.5% of Japanese are fully vaccinated and 16.5% have been vaccinated at least once. More than 14,000 deaths in Japan are due to COVID-19.
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Limit local fans to 10,000 at the venue at the Tokyo Olympics | World
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