Fans to Be Barred from Attending Tokyo Olympics Events amid COVID Spike

Fans to Be Barred from Attending Tokyo Olympics Events amid COVID Spike

A woman wearing a protective face mask, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease walks past the Olympic rings in front of the Japan Olympics Museum in Tokyo, Japan March 13, 2020. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

Olympic organizers announced Thursday that they would not allow fans to attend most venues at the Games after a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo in response to a recent COVID case surge stemming from the virus’s Delta variant.

The notice marked a policy reversal from last month, when Olympic officials said domestic spectators would be permitted despite concerns that the event could trigger a massive disease outbreak, the New York Times reported.

Olympic organizers congregated for an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss a game plan for how to conduct the already-delayed Games given the spike in the region.

During a press briefing Thursday, Japan prime minister Yoshihide Suga recognized the emerging threat posed by the spread of the new variant but promised that the Olympic Games would be a testament to the world’s resilience and strength in combating and recovering from the pandemic.

“I want to transmit to them a message from Tokyo about overcoming hardship with effort and wisdom,” Suga said.

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