Fans Barred From Tokyo Paralympics
he Tokyo Paralympics will go ahead without fans, as COVID-19 infections continue to increase in Japan.
The decision was confirmed on Monday after the International Paralympic Committee met with the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Government of Japan to discuss a policy for spectator numbers at the Games.
Tokyo is currently in a state of emergency, logging 5,773 COVID-19 cases last Friday, a new high.
Japan has now exceeded over 15,00 deaths due to COVID-19.
The four parties, therefore, agreed that more “stringent measures” will be taken at the Paralympics, including barring fans from attending events.
A joint statement released on Monday by the four parties read: “We very much regret that this situation has impacted the Paralympic Games, following the Olympic Games.”
“We sincerely apologize to all ticket buyers who were looking forward to watching the Games at the venues.
“We hope that you understand that these measures are unavoidable and being implemented in order to prevent the spread of infection.
“Everyone is encouraged to watch the Games at home,” the statement read.
The Paralympics will begin on August 24th, with approximately 4,400 athletes, smaller than that of the Olympics with 11,000 athletes.
Although medical experts do not directly attribute it to the Games, new COVID-19 infections in Tokyo tripled during the 17 days of the Olympics.
Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons said: “In light of the current case numbers in Tokyo and wider Japan, everyone attending these Games must be vigilant.”
Organizers have asked that fans do not attend roadside events.