Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Host city Tokyo bans Olympic spectators amid COVID-19 emergency

WorldJul 08, 2021 01:22PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing protective face masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, walk at the Haneda airport, in Tokyo, Japan June 13, 2021. REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou 2/2

By Sakura Murakami, Ju-min Park and Antoni Slodkowski

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Olympics will take place without spectators in host city Tokyo, organisers said on Thursday, as a resurgent coronavirus forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will run throughout the Games.

The move marked a sharp turnabout from as recently as last week, when some officials were still insisting they could organise the Games safely with some fans. It all but strips the global sporting showpiece, which is due to start on July 23 and run until Aug. 8, of its last vestiges of pomp and public spectacle.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was essential to prevent Tokyo, where the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 variant was spreading, from becoming a flashpoint of new infections.

People will also be asked not to gather for events on public roads, such as the triathlon, though officials said some venues outside the greater Tokyo metropolitan area would allow small numbers of spectators

"It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections," Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said, following talks between government officials, Tokyo organisers and Olympic and Paralympic representatives.

"I am sorry for those who purchased tickets."

MEDICAL WARNINGS

Once seen as an opportunity for Japan to shine on a global stage after a devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster over the past decade, the Games were postponed last year due to the pandemic and have been hit by massive budget overruns.

Much of Japan's population is still not vaccinated against COVID-19, stoking fears that an influx of thousands of athletes and officials will fuel more infections. Medical experts have said for weeks that holding the Games without spectators would be the least risky way of staging the event.

Organisers were still uncertain how much revenue would be lost due to the absence of spectators, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said, adding they were looking to further cut staff.

Torch relays have been scaled back or taken off of public roads, and promotional events dropped. Tokyo - which had been counting on a record boom in tourism - has experienced none of the buzz and excitement that normally characterise host cities.

Japan's drive to hold the Olympics even as the epidemic worsened alienated much of the public and sparked concern among sponsors about a consumer backlash.

Suga said COVID-19 infections were on the rise in Tokyo, due in part to the Delta variant, warning that that it could hit the rest of the country.

"We absolutely must avoid Tokyo being the starting point again of another spread of the infection," he told a news conference.

Tokyo's neighbouring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba will also not allow spectators at their Olympic events, the government said.

SLOW VACCINE ROLLOUT

Japan has not suffered the kind of explosive COVID-19 outbreaks seen in many other countries. But it has had more than 810,000 cases and 14,900 deaths and the slow vaccine rollout has meant only a quarter of the population has had at least one shot.

New daily cases in the capital could increase to 1,000 in July and 2,000 in August, raising the risk of hospitals in the capital region running out of beds, according to projections from Yuki Furuse, a Kyoto University professor working with the government's coronavirus experts group.

The new state of emergency in Tokyo, under which restaurants will be asked to stop serving alcohol, will begin on Monday and run through to Aug 22. It was announced as the capital reported 896 new daily infections on Thursday, near highs last seen in mid-May.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, who chaired Thursday's talks after arriving in Tokyo earlier in the day, told reporters that strict and successful measures were in place.

Underscoring the last-minute nature of Olympic preparations, which had left sponsors frustrated, organisers presented various spectator scenarios to sponsors as late as Wednesday, according to sources.

Sponsors were told that in the case of no spectators, all sports and opening and closing ceremonies would likely be held without fans, meaning tickets allocated to sponsors could not be used.

The absence of crowds seems certain to further strain the Games' budget https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-2020-coronavirus-money-factb-idCAKCN2DY2MI, which has already blown out to an estimated $15.4 billion, with ticket revenues of about $815 million set to dwindle to close to zero.

Officials' assurances that spectators would attend were knocked back after a ruling party setback in a Tokyo assembly election on Sunday, which some allies of Suga attributed to public anger over the Olympics, sources said.

Japan will hold a parliamentary election this year and the government's insistence that the Games would not be postponed a second time could cost it at the ballot box, they said.

Host city Tokyo bans Olympic spectators amid COVID-19 emergency
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (8)
DrFunkenstein hayson
DrFunkenstein hayson Jul 08, 2021 1:40PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
we have to keep the fear going! don't stop now! greatest plandemic in history right guess what world and us and Asia and Europe all their Populations increased.but i thought this was supposed to be the worse thing ever
Dionte Edwards
Dionte Edwards Jul 08, 2021 9:49AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
As expected, cancel it
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Jul 08, 2021 9:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Who cares, anyway?
Me comment
Me comment Jul 08, 2021 8:25AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
cancel the games.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jul 08, 2021 8:25AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
you think the IOC is willing to lose all that TV revenue?
Jabie Bulie
Jabie Bulie Jul 08, 2021 5:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Japan hasn’t yet reached herd immunity, as the US has reached herd immunity !!
Me comment
Me comment Jul 08, 2021 5:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the US isn't close to heard immunity trumps uneducated followers who won't get vaccinated are the problem.
Glenn Ebersole
Glenn Ebersole Jul 08, 2021 5:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Not in the Trump States??
Darryl Allen
Darryl Allen Jul 08, 2021 5:04AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Ban everything! Think of the children!
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Jul 08, 2021 5:04AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Ban the children.
Jozef Drozd
Jozef Drozd Jul 07, 2021 11:08PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Stop the covid propaganda !!! No pandemic , it a hoax, wake up people . NWO is coming ....
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Jul 07, 2021 11:08PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
"No pandemic , it a hoax"  -- someone is still stuck in 2020's conspiracy websites......
Jozef Drozd
Jozef Drozd Jul 07, 2021 11:08PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Tre Hsi  it is a hoax ! If you don't know this after one and a half year of the plandemic propaganda , then you need a  serous medical help .
Richie Berg
Richie Berg Jul 07, 2021 10:17PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
They should cancel the event. No need to endanger lives.
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Jul 07, 2021 10:17PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Dominic Mazoch
Dominic Mazoch Jul 07, 2021 10:17PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Cancel the Olympics. For all time.
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Jul 07, 2021 10:17PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
At least it is going to be behind us when it is going to be over. Finally.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email