Tokyo Olympics: No overseas spectators allowed for the global event amid COVID-19

IOC decided to not allow overseas spectators for the July-August Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games
Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to start from July this year
Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to start from July this yearImage source: Unsplash

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in a meeting with four other bodies on Saturday, decided to not allow overseas spectators for the July-August Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Tokyo due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic globally.

"Today, the five parties [the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020 and the government of Japan] met virtually. During the meeting, the IOC and IPC were informed, as outlined below, about the conclusion of the Japanese parties not to allow entry into Japan for overseas spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the prevailing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic," said a statement posted on the official website of the Tokyo Games.

The quadrennial Games were supposed to be staged in 2020 but were delayed by a year due to the pandemic and will now organised from July 23-August 8.

"Olympic and Paralympic tickets purchased by overseas residents from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will be refunded," said the statement.

"Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Japan and many other countries around the world is still very challenging and a number of variant strains have emerged, whilst international travel remains severely restricted globally. Based on the present situation of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely that entry into Japan will be guaranteed this summer for people from overseas," it said.

In line with their principle of safety first for all participants and out of respect for all the parties on the Japanese side, the IOC and IPC announced in Saturday's five-party meeting that they fully respect and accept this conclusion.

"Under these circumstances, ticketholders from overseas will soon be informed of the refund mechanism," the statement read. The five parties agreed on March 3, 2021, that a final decision would be announced by the end of March.

(With inputs from IANS)

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