The Tokyo Olympic Games will be held without spectators as the Japanese capital is forced to enter another state of emergency because of rising COVID-19 cases due to the Delta strain of the virus.
After 896 coronavirus positive tests were returned from the Tokyo region on Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared the region’s state of emergency would be imposed until Aug. 22 — with the Games set to run from July 23 until Aug. 8.
Shortly after Suga’s announcement, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto revealed the “regrettable” decision to bar fans from Olympic venues in the capital, with the COVID-19 restrictions making it impossible to attend.
She also believed athletes’ performances wouldn’t be affected by the lack of support in the stands.
“It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections,” Hashimoto said.
“I am sorry for those who purchased tickets.