(ATR) The number of spectators for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could be decreased further amid a continued increase of Covid-19 infections in the Japanese capital.
The current plan allowing 50 percent venue capacity with a maximum of 10,000 people is set to be reviewed as early as next week by the Japanese government and Tokyo 2020 organizers, according to Kyodo News.
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said on Friday that holding the Games without spectators should be considered as one of the main choices.
Koike made the comments in her first press conference since leaving the hospital on Wednesday after a week-long stay for what was described as "severe fatigue".
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga earlier this week said that the possibility of having no spectators was still an option.
In her weekly press conference on Friday, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said the organizing committee is prepared should the government decide that there will be no fans in the stands.
There are other options being floated. One would decrease the cap to 5,000. Another would ban spectators from some of the events being held in the evening and night.
The 10,000 cap was approved late last month during a meeting among the five organizing bodies for Tokyo 2020 with the stipulation that it would be reviewed if the Covid-19 situation worsened. The cap was also approved with the expectation that the ongoing quasi-state of emergency for Tokyo would be lifted as scheduled on July 11.
Daily infections, however, have been on the rise since a state of emergency was lifted last month and it appears unlikely that the quasi-state of emergency can be lifted.
The number of tickets for the Olympics has already been reduced by 910,000 to 2.72 million, or about 35 percent of the total seats available.
Ticketholders are scheduled to find out on July 5 if they still have their seats. That’s when the results of a lottery are to be released. Given the latest developments, that announcement could be delayed.
Overseas spectators were ruled out in March.
The Opening Ceremony is July 23.
Homepage photo: ATR
Written by Gerard Farek
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