At last, it’s official, after countless unsourced news reports and rumors: Spectators from abroad will be barred from the postponed Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months.
The decision was announced Saturday after an online meeting of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo government, the International Paralympic Committee, and local organizers.
Officials said the risk was too great to admit ticket holders from overseas during a pandemic. The Japanese public also has opposed fans from abroad. Several surveys have shown that up to 80% oppose holding the Olympics, and a similar percentage opposed fans from overseas attending.
Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.
“In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the Tokyo organizing committee said in a statement.Read ESPN