The Japanese government has agreed to exclude overseas spectators from attending the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The government and the organizing committee are set to hold a virtual meeting with the International Olympic Committee and two other bodies to make an official statement on the topic of international visitors. The government decided that welcoming overseas fans is not possible due to public concerns and the emergence of more coronavirus variants, peaking at over 2,500 cases per day in Tokyo capital. The representatives of the organizing bodies including the International Paralympic Committee and Tokyo metropolitan government will decide on the number of spectators allowed into venues based on Japanese restrictions on attending large events.

The organizers looked at a variety of options at the same time, including conducting the games behind closed doors and staging them with spectators just from Japan. “We would really like people from around the world to come to a full stadium, but unless we are prepared to accept them and the medical situation in Japan is perfect, it will cause a great deal of trouble also to visitors from overseas,” Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Japanese committee told the media. Officials also said that the relay’s opening ceremony would be held without spectators to prevent the spread of the virus. The Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.