There will be fans in attendance for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games after all—at least, that’s the current plan, according to the Japan Times.
After a prolonged period of debate, and with just over a month remaining until the July 23 opening ceremonies, organizers announced on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will allow a maximum of 10,000 spectators per venue, or 50% capacity—whichever is lower.
The announcement was made by Tokyo Games minister Tamayo Marukawa after a five-way meeting between representatives of the central Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo Organising Committee, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.
“As was said last week following the central government’s announcement, restrictions during the Tokyo Games will be aligned with whatever coronavirus measures are in place,” Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Organising Committee, said during a Monday news conference. “The last part of the games has been decided, and the plan is now complete.”
Spectators at the games will be required to wear masks and abstain from cheering to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
It’s also worth noting that, while organizers intend to allow spectators at the games, the plan will be abandoned if another COVID-related state of emergency is declared in Tokyo or in any other host city.
“If a state of emergency is declared, that is a possibility,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said shortly before Tokyo Olympic organizers made their official announcement. “We won’t hesitate to ban spectators to ensure safety and security.”