Tokyo organisers to delay decision on spectator limits


TOKYO: Japanese residents with tickets to the Tokyo Olympics may not know until weeks before the games open if they’ll be allowed to attend.

Tokyo Olympic organisers indicated on Wednesday they would delay making a decision on the limit for spectators in venues, possibly until June, as a resurgence in coronavirus cases complicates planning.

Games organisers decided last month that international spectators would not be allowed into Japan, and had said they would decide in April on how many domestic spectators would be allowed into venues.

But Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto told a news conference the decision would take more time while they study the coronavirus situation in the country.

“During the month of April we would like to show the direction we are going in [on spectator limits] but looking at the situation going forward, we are still considering the timing for making the final decision,” she said, following a virtual meeting with the International Olympic Committee.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said a decision “could come in May or June, depending on the situation.”

Japan is battling a fourth wave of coronavirus cases, with Tokyo and other areas implementing restrictions including shorter restaurant hours to try to halt the surge.

The Summer Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23.