Japan’s prime minister warned that the Tokyo Olympics could be held behind closed doors, as virus cases rise in the city just three weeks before the Games begin.
Organisers decided last month to set a limit of 10,000 fans or half of each venue’s capacity for events at the pandemic-postponed Games.
But Yoshihide Suga repeated cautions that spectators could be locked out of competitions if the situation worsens, with the government expected to extend anti-virus measures covering Tokyo as new cases climb.
“There is a possibility of there being no spectators” at the Games, Suga said Thursday. “We will act with the safety and security of the Japanese people as our top priority.”
The Yomiuri Shimbun daily said Friday that spectators could be barred from events held in the evening or in large venues, citing unnamed sources.The Yomiuri and other media said organisers are also likely to delay a ticket lottery for oversubscribed events, which was set to take place next Tuesday.
“Infections are rebounding in Tokyo and other places, and people are calling for prevention measures to be strengthened,” the Yomiuri report said.