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Will there be local spectators at the Tokyo Olympics? The decision may only come in June

Tokyo is experiencing a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, which has complicated matters further

By
Emma Steen
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[Update, April 29] At a five-party meeting on April 28, the organising committee of Tokyo Olympics decided it was soon to make a decision on whether to allow spectators at the Games given the current circumstances, The Japan Times reports. Organisers will instead reconvene in June to decide if it's feasible to permit local spectators into the stadiums and arenas this summer.

The hope of permitting audiences, even at a reduced capacity, will depend on whether the Covid-19 situation in Japan improves quickly enough. However, preparations are being made for the last-minute possibility that the Olympics might go ahead without any spectators.

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[April 21] In March, Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics announced that overseas fans would be barred from the Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the prospect of allowing local spectators is still up in the air. 

The organising committee of the Tokyo Olympic Games will now have to decide whether or not to admit domestic spectators into the sporting venues, as well as the maximum capacity should local fans be allowed to watch the sports in person. According to The Mainichi, the organising committee considers holding off on making a decision on local spectator capacity until June. 

While the committee was expected to make the call sometime between April and May, a recent surge in Covid-19 infections in Tokyo and several other prefectures have further complicated matters. Five parties, including the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo metropolitan government, are scheduled to attend a meeting later this month, where they may agree to revisit the prospect of domestic spectators in June. 

This article was originally published on April 21 and updated on April 29.

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