Tokyo (NewsNation Now) — The International Olympic Committee and local organizers said on Saturday that spectators of the International Olympics would be banned from participating in the Tokyo Olympics when they open four months later.
This move was expected and rumored for several months. Officials said the risk was too great to allow foreign ticket owners during a pandemic. This is an idea strongly opposed by the Japanese people.Japan kills about 8,800 people COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears And it controls the virus better than most countries.
Tickets for the Olympic and Paralympic Games purchased by expatriates will be refunded, according to a statement issued after a five-party conference involving the International Olympic Committee Chairman Thomas Bach and the Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike.
“We could wait until the last moment of the decision, except for the audience,” said Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of the Organizing Committee. “They need to secure accommodation and flights, so they have to decide early, or they will suffer a lot of inconvenience. I think this is a very difficult problem. I will. “
It is reported that about 1 million tickets have been sold to overseas fans. The organizer promises a refund, which is determined by the so-called authorized ticket dealers who handle sales outside Japan. These dealers charge up to 20% higher than the ticket price. It is not clear if the fee will be refunded.
Bach called it a “difficult decision.”
“We have to make decisions from everyone that may require sacrifice,” he said.
The ban on fans from overseas is Olympic torch relay It will start on Thursday in Fukushima prefecture in the Tohoku region. It lasts 121 days, crosses Japan with 10,000 runners and ends on July 23 at the opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
The relay is an Olympic and Paralympic test, with 15,400 athletes participating in Japan. They are tested before leaving home, when they arrive in Japan, and frequently while living in the safe “bubble” of the Olympic Village along Tokyo Bay.
Athletes do not need to be vaccinated to enter Japan, but many are vaccinated.
The Olympic Games will be held from July 23rd to August 8th, and the Paralympics will be held from August 24th to September 5th.
This is a developing story. Check for updates.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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International spectators banned from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
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