Tokyo 2020: How to handle spectators

Published on March 1st, 2021

The International Olympic Committee and four other organizing bodies of this summer’s Tokyo Games plan to hold a high-level meeting on March 3 to discuss how to handle spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials with knowledge of the matter said.

Kyodo News reports the online meeting is expected to focus on the schedule of when to make a decision on whether to allow visitors from overseas and the number of spectators to be permitted at each venue of the Olympics and Paralympics.

With less than five months until the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, how to deal with spectators has been one of the major challenges for the organizers of the sporting extravaganza, postponed for one year due to the pandemic.

Some officials said the organizers plan to make decisions in two phases, first concluding by March 25 whether to accept spectators from abroad before determining the number of fans allowed at venues.

The meeting is expected to be attended by IOC President Thomas Bach, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons, Tokyo Games organizing chief Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and Japan’s Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa.

Last week, Hashimoto said she wants to set a direction on the issue around March 25, when the domestic leg of the Olympic torch relay is slated to begin. Her remarks came after Bach said at a press conference that a decision on whether to allow overseas spectators to enter Japan for the games could be made in April or early May.

“Everyone wants an early decision about the direction to be taken regarding fans to prepare tickets and hotel accommodations,” said Hashimoto, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

According to InsidetheGames, it has become increasingly likely in recent months that foreign fans will be prevented from attending events at the Games because of the COVID-19 crisis. Japan is fearful over large numbers of fans from across the world travelling to the country and potentially spreading the COVID-19 virus during the Games.

While sales of tickets were forecast to provide 857 million USD in revenue, capacities could also be restricted at Olympic and Paralympic events to limit the risk posed by the novel coronavirus.

A state of emergency remains in place in Tokyo due to the pandemic, but cases have fallen in the Japanese capital in recent weeks. It has been reported that foreign athletes could be allowed to enter Japan and train prior to the Games when the state of emergency is lifted next month.

Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021

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