The Japanese government has decided to exclude international spectators from the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. The government agreed that accepting overseas fans is not possible at the moment due to the growing public concerns and appearance of more coronavirus variants, peaking at 2,500 cases per day in Tokyo. Based on Japanese restrictions on attending large events, representatives from the organizing bodies, including the International Paralympic Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, will decide on the number of spectators permitted into venues.

The organizers considered several choices, including keeping the games behind closed doors and staging them with spectators from Japan only. Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Japanese committee, told the media that they would like for people around the world to come to a full stadium but unless they are prepared to accept them, it would also cause troubles to overseas visitors. To prevent the virus from spreading, officials said the relay’s opening ceremony will be conducted without spectators. The Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.