Japan reportedly won’t allow overseas visitors to attend Tokyo Olympics

Mar 3, 2021

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Japan isn’t planning to allow overseas visitors to attend the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games. Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported on Wednesday that the government has been planning to hold the games without accepting spectators from outside Japan.

According to people familiar with the matter, a final decision on the proposal will be made within the month. The Japanese government is in discussions with other relevant bodies, including the International Olympic Committee, about the issue.

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“Under current circumstances, we cannot accept spectators from overseas,” a source close to the government told the Mainichi.

Because of continued concern surrounding the spread of the coronavirus and its varying strains, officials have been thought to believe that forbidding overseas visitors from attending events will ensure the games will go ahead this year. Officials are believed to be looking into the possibility of allowing just domestic spectators, and they’re still determining how many will be permitted to attend.

Although parts of Europe and the United States have seen the ramp-up of vaccination programmes offer a promising light at the end of the tunnel, the Japanese government is reportedly looking to avoid any catastrophe that would see the further delay — or cancellation — of the games.

Related: Olympic Games have new 2021 dates — Here’s what you need to know

Since the start of the year, the International Olympic Committee along with the Japanese and Tokyo governments have emphasized their intention to hold the games this year.

The 2020 Olympic Games were originally set to be held in July 2020 but were postponed in March of the same year when the pandemic first began spreading on a global level. The new dates were set for one year later, 23 July 23 to 8 August 2021 for the Olympic Games and 24 August to 5 September 2021 for the Paralympic Games.

If you have tickets to attend the Olympics this year, it’ll be worth holding on to see your options when this announcement is made official.

Featured photo by SOPA Images/Getty Images.

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