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It looks like there won’t be a lot of spectators at the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics will ban overseas spectators due to COVID-19 risks

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This aerial photo shows the National Stadium, a venue for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo, Feb. 16, 2021.  The Tokyo Olympics will ban overseas spectators due to COVID-19 risks.

This aerial photo shows the National Stadium, a venue for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo, Feb. 16, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will ban overseas spectators due to COVID-19 risks.

Associated Press

The Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympic Games will not allow any overseas spectators due to COVID-19 risks and concerns, the event announced over the weekend.

What happened with the Olympics?

Over the weekend, the Olympic organizing committee announced in a statement the decision to ban international fans because organizers don’t want to risk the spread of the novel coronavirus.

  • “Based on the present situation of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely that entry into Japan will be guaranteed this summer for people from overseas,” the committee said in a statement. “In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Reactions

Both the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee supported to the move, per ESPN.

  • “We have to take decisions that may need sacrifice from everybody,” IOC President Thomas Bach said, according to ESPN.

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo committee, said over the weekend that the lack of spectators won’t ruin the sporting spectacle, according to The New York Times.

  • “The Tokyo 2020 Games will be completely different from the past, but the essence remains the same,” Ms. Hashimoto said. “Athletes will put everything on the line and inspire people with their outstanding performances.”

What if I bought a ticket to the Olympics?

Any overseas or international fans who purchased tickets will receive refunds, NPR reports. There will be more details about how to receive a refund in the future.

What’s next?

The Tokyo Olympics will host its opening ceremony July 23. The Paralympics will have its opening ceremony Aug. 24, per NPR.