It's official: Japan won't allow overseas visitors to attend Tokyo Olympics
It's official: Japan won't allow overseas visitors to attend the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games. On March 3, Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported that the government has been planning to hold the games without accepting spectators from outside Japan. The organizers of the games confirmed that rumor today.
The New York Times reported on the press conference announcing this news. According to Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo committee, “The Tokyo 2020 Games will be completely different from the past, but the essence remains the same. Athletes will put everything on the line and inspire people with their outstanding performances.”
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This ruling was made due to the continued concern surrounding the spread of the coronavirus and its varying strains. Officials determined that the safest bet was to just allow domestic spectators.
Although parts of Europe and the United States have seen the ramp-up of vaccination programs that offer a promising light at the end of the tunnel, the Japanese government is reportedly looking to avoid any catastrophe that would see the further delay — or cancellation — of the games.
Related: Olympic Games have new 2021 dates — Here’s what you need to know
Since the start of the year, the International Olympic Committee along with the Japanese and Tokyo governments have emphasized their intention to hold the games this year.
The 2020 Olympic Games were originally set to be held in July 2020 but were postponed in March of the same year when the pandemic first began spreading on a global level. The new dates were set for one year later, July 23–Aug. 8, 2021, for the Olympic Games and Aug. 24–Sept. 5, 2021, for the Paralympic Games.
If you're one of the 600,000 people from outside Japan that bought tickets to attend the Olympics this year, you'll need to start the refund process. Contact the company from which you purchased your tickets.