By Chris King • 08 July 2021 • 23:45
Typhoon 'In-Fa' is heading towards Tokyo and the Olympics.
TOKYO OLYMPICS will now take place behind closed doors after Japan re-declares a state of emergency
The Tokyo Olympics will now take place behind closed doors after Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga decided today, Thursday 8, to re-declare a state of emergency in the Tokyo area, an alert that will be in effect until August 22 and will coincide with the date of the Olympics.
After meeting with the government committee that manages the pandemic, Mr Suga announced that the state of emergency will come into force on Monday, July 12, stressing that it has to be done in an effort to slow down the increase in Covid-19 cases in the capital, although, apart from a tightening of restrictions for businesses, the measure will not mean much change with the current situation.
Tokyo is currently experiencing a new wave of infections, reaching its highest number of positives since last May, touching 1,000 cases, and with an upward trend that is even more worrying considering that thousands of athletes from around the world will arrive in the country in the next few days.
Tamayo Marukawa, the Japanese minister in charge of the Games made the decision to go ahead with the Games behind closed doors, after a meeting that also involved the IOC President Thomas Bach, who had flown into Tokyo today to finalize the details of the Games.
Japan has also decided to extend the alert level in the southwest region of Okinawa, where it was already active, and will maintain certain restrictions in the prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa, adjacent to Tokyo, where some competitions of the Games will also be held.
The absence of spectators at an event of this size considerably reduces its spirit, with the Olympics for decades being conceived as the best example of communion between fans and sports, and the economic impact has not yet been calculated, but there will be the obvious dramatic loss in income from ticket sales, on top of the loss of tourism already being suffered in the country.
A few days before the declaration of the state of emergency and the decision to close the Olympic Games to the public, the organising committee had already announced that the protocols for the arrival of athletes were being tightened, after two Ukrainian athletes and one Serbian tested positive upon arrival in Tokyo.
Participating athletes from Afghanistan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka must undergo daily tests for seven days before leaving for Japan, while in the case of countries such as the United Kingdom or Egypt, it is three days, according to 20minutos.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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