Japan’s Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa has announced that, after a rise in positive coronavirus cases, the Olympic Games will be officially closed to spectators. What was initially due to be a limited affair (an estimated 10,000 spectators), will now be just for athletes, teams, sponsors, media, and organizers.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency that will be in place until around August 22. He said, “Taking into consideration the impact of the delta strain, and in order to prevent the resurgence of infections from spreading across the country, we need to step up virus prevention measures.” Tokyo recorded a spike of almost 900 new cases, up over 600 from last week.
According to Fox News, “The main focus of the most recent state of emergency is a request for bars, restaurants and karaoke parlors serving alcohol to close. A ban on serving alcohol is a key step to tone down Olympic-related festivities and keep people from drinking and partying. Tokyo residents are expected to face stay-home requests and watch the games from home.”
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach spoke with local news, detailing the decision to limit numbers. He said:
“We have shown this responsibility since the day of the postponement … And we will also show it today, and we will support any measure which is necessary to have a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games for the Japanese people and all the participants.”
The state of emergency will be lifted in time for the Paralympic Games.
Liberty Nation will keep you informed on this developing story.