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Up to 10,000 fans allowed at Tokyo Olympics events

People have dinner in Tokyo’s Yurakucho area on June 21, 2021, after Japan announced that a virus state of emergency in Tokyo and several other regions was lifted on June 20, just over a month before
People have dinner in Tokyo’s Yurakucho area on June 21, 2021, after Japan announced that a virus state of emergency in Tokyo and several other regions was lifted on June 20, just over a month before the Olympics. (Photo: AFP)
TOKYO — Up to 10,000 fans will be allowed at Tokyo Olympic events, organizers said Monday, warning competition could move behind closed doors if infections surge.اضافة اعلان

The decision, just weeks before the opening ceremony, ends months of speculation about whether domestic spectators would be able to attend the pandemic-postponed Games. Overseas fans were banned in March.

A lottery will determine which existing ticket-holders can attend a Games that will be unlike any other, with cheering banned, masks mandatory, and fans told to go straight home after the competition.

"In light of the government's restrictions on public events, the spectator limit for the Olympic Games will be set at 50 percent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people in all venues," organizers said in a statement.

A decision on spectators at the Paralympics will be delayed until July 16, a week before the Olympics open.

And officials left open the possibility of a reversal if the virus rebounds. Tokyo was under a coronavirus state of emergency until Sunday.

"If there should be major dramatic change in the infection situation, we may need to revisit this matter amongst ourselves and we may need to consider the option of having no spectators in the venues," Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said.

Senior medical experts, including top advisors to the government, have said holding the Games behind closed doors would be "ideal" from a health perspective.

They fear crowds of fans could fuel a new surge in infections in a country still racing to vaccinate its residents. Organizers said it was unlikely that negative virus tests would be required to attend.

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