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Is The Tokyo Olympics Still Going Ahead? Japan Declares State Of Emergency

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Is The Tokyo Olympics Still Going Ahead? Japan Declares State Of Emergency

The Japanese government has declared a state of emergency due to Coronavirus just two weeks before the start of the Olympic games in Tokyo.

It was only a few weeks ago that the COVID-19 restrictions, which had been in place since April, were lifted across the capital.

Now, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has reintroduced measures in Tokyo with the declaration of the fourth state of emergency due to COVID-19.

There were 920 new cases of Coronavirus in the city on Wednesday, a figure which prompted the decision.

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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Credit: Twitter/sugawitter)
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Credit: Twitter/sugawitter)

Is the Tokyo Olympics cancelled?

Restrictions will be in place in Tokyo and its surrounding areas from 12th July until 22nd August.

This means that the Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled to start on 23rd July until 8th August will be held under a state of emergency in Tokyo. The Paralympics will follow from 24th August-5th September.

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Members of the Team GB Women's Football Team depart London for the Tokyo (Credit: PA)
Members of the Team GB Women's Football Team depart London for the Tokyo (Credit: PA)

However, it's understood that if the burden on the healthcare system eases earlier, the restrictions could be lifted before 22nd August.

At the moment, the games look set to go ahead. Athletes from Team GB have been flying out to Japan from London this week and will undergo isolation and testing before competing.

Are spectators banned?

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Overseas spectators were already banned from the games due to COVID-19. But now there's talk of stopping anybody from watching the games in person.

Spectators pose for photo with the Olympics Rings display at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo (Credit: PA)
Spectators pose for photo with the Olympics Rings display at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo (Credit: PA)

Japan Times reports that attendance at events, which had been limited to 10,000 people, will now be capped at 5,000 or 50% of venue capacity - whichever figure is lower - and the events themselves will need to end by 9 p.m.

Japan's government is currently deciding whether to ban all spectators from the Olympic games, or just to reduce capacity.

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What are the new restrictions in Tokyo?

Under the state of emergency, restaurants in Tokyo and Okinawa (one of the worst hit prefectures) will be asked to stop serving alcohol and close by 8pm.

Tokyo Coronavirus restrictions sign (Credit: PA)
Tokyo Coronavirus restrictions sign (Credit: PA)

Judging by this photo from a Tokyo-based journalist though, it doesn't look like there's much social distancing going on at the moment.

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Overall, Japan's COVID-19 numbers are falling, with the exception of spikes in large metropolitan areas.

We'll keep you updated on Tokyo's new state of emergency.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Tokyo Olympics

Laura Sanders
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