Tokyo Olympics to allow limited spectators at Games


A bus stop outside the National Stadium, a major site for the Tokyo Olympics.

Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fans will be in the stands next month to cheer on athletes competing in the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, officials said on Monday. Domestic spectators will be able to attend the Games, with venues limited to 50% capacity or up to 10,000 people maximum, according to a joint statement from the Japanese government, Tokyo police and Olympic officials. 

The move comes after officials in March said overseas spectators wouldn’t be allowed to attend the Games, citing concern over the coronavirus pandemic. Originally set to take place in 2020, the Olympics were pushed back a year because of the pandemic. They’re now scheduled for July 23 through Aug. 8, 2021, with the Paralympics set to run from Aug. 24 through Sept. 5, 2021.

In addition to capacity limits at venues, spectators will also be required to wear masks and speaking in a “loud voice or shouting will be prohibited,” according to joint statement. Officials also cautioned that rules could change if there’s a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“If the situation becomes very dire, we would have to hold the Games without spectators,” said Seiko Hashimoto, president of Tokyo 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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