Local Fans To Be Allowed At Olympic Games Under Strict Limits
Yes to fans, but no to cheering!
Japanese spectators are set to attend the Olympic Games next month, event organisers confirmed the news, despite several health warning from experts surrounding the risk of maintaining surging case numbers around the country.
Sekio Hashimoto, the president of the organising committee, said spectator numbers will be capped to 50% of each venue's capacity, or a maximum of 10,000 people.
"In principle, spectators will be admitted to events subject to the above limits, organisers said in a statement. "In light of the government's restrictions on public events, the spectator limit for the Olympic Games will be set at 50% of venue capacity."
Regardless of whether the venue is indoor or outdoor, the capacity limit has been set along with the advice to ban cheering.
Domestic fans may need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result to attend Olympic events as organisers look to Japan's spectators to provide atmosphere.
With an array of concerns from various parties, that hosting games during a global pandemic will prove too difficult, organisers say the efforts of all to follow strict health and safety protocols will suffice.
Last month, fans from outside countries were declined entry into Tokyo's Olympic hub, and recently Hasimoto made it clear that local fans will be turned away if conditions worsen.
"We need to be very flexible. If there is any abrupt change in the situation, we will hold five-party meetings again to make other decisions," Hashimoto said. "If there is an announcement of a state of emergency during the Games, all the options like no-spectators will be examined."
Along with the mandatory requirement of no cheering, local fans must also wear masks and return home immediately after attending a venue.
The decision arrives after a state of emergency was lifted in Tokyo, with just weeks before the opening of the major event.
A decision on Paralympics will be made by July 16, a week before the Games open.
With deep concern about the resurgence in infections, health experts have asked for the Games to be played in front of no fans to rule out any possibility of spreading.
Officials say the vaccination rate for athletes set for the Olympic Village was now "well above 80%", reaching an exceeding the IOC's initial expectations.
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