Confirmed: Tokyo Olympics will not have overseas spectators due to Covid-19 risks

International fans with tickets will be refunded

Lim Chee Wah
Written by
Lim Chee Wah
Editor-in-Chief, Time Out Tokyo
Olympic rings Tokyo
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organisers have decided that due to Covid-19 concerns, overseas spectators will not be allowed into the country for the summer Games.

The decision was made after a crucial meeting on Saturday, attended remotely by key figures from both the international and Japanese committees: International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, International Paralympic Committee chief Andrew Parsons, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike as well as Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa.

While the last remaining state of emergency in Japan, currently affecting the Greater Tokyo region of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, will end after Sunday March 21, Japan still deem the coronavirus risks too big to open up its borders for the sporting event. The pandemic has forced the Games to be postponed last year in March. The Olympic Games will go ahead this year from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

According to The Japan Times, Tokyo 2020 organisers will also not accept international volunteers, save for some unique circumstances.

International fans who have bought tickets will be refunded.

This is a developing story; more details will be added as soon as they are available.

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