DestinationsEven local spectators are now banned as the Games will be held under a state of emergency.

No crowds, no fans, no cheers at Japan Olympics

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The Olympic flame arrived in Tokyo last Friday, 9 July, one day after a fourth state of emergency has been declared over the duration of the Games.
The Olympic flame arrived in Tokyo last Friday, 9 July, one day after a fourth state of emergency has been declared over the duration of the Games. Photo Credit: Tokyo 2020

This will be the first time a mega sporting event is taking place sans alcohol, cheers and autograph sessions as Japan Olympics confirms a full spectator ban in host city Tokyo.

A fourth state of emergency has been declared over the duration of the Games, due to kick off on 23 July to 8 August. The capital's neighbouring Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures are also under the same blanket ban.

The Olympic flame arrived in Tokyo but without public attendance last Friday, 9 July, one day after the announcement.

In a televised speech, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga noted that although infected numbers have gone down, the latest national decision comes on the back of mutated strains of the coronavirus, and measures must be "strengthened" to prevent further virus spreads once more.

As recently as two weeks ago in June, organisers had announced that domestic fans will still be allowed in with a cap of 10,000 or up to 50% of the venue capacity — albeit loaded with a long string of conditions such as no direct contact, cheering, towel-waving or autographs from athletes.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto has issued an apology to ticket holders.

As of the week of 8 July, Tokyo has been recording an average of more than 600 cases a day. Some 19% of the country's population has been vaccinated with one dose so far, compared to UK's average of more than 60%, according to a BBC report.

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