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Tokyo Olympics to have no fans in attenfance as government declares ‘virus state of emergency’

The spread of COVID-19 across the nation appears to mean barren venues during Olympic competition.

A passer-by walks past the countdown clock for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displaying 15 days and 23 hours to go to the opening ceremony, outside Tokyo station in Tokyo on July 7, 2021. Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images

UPDATE: The Tokyo Olympics will NOT have fans in attendance, per reporter Ana Cabrera.

Two Japanese media outlets are reporting that the national government will extend a “virus state of emergency” as soon as today, meaning fans would not be allowed at venues for the Olympics in Tokyo. The emergency was expected to expire on July 11th, but is likely to be extended tomorrow.

“We must stay on high alert,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters a week ago and added “having no spectators is a possibility.”

In June organizers set a limit of 10,000 fans at any venue, or 50% of each venue’s capacity, but also warned that having the Games in completely empty stadiums and arenas was still a possibility. With the virus not getting under control, we could be looking at no one to cheer on participants for all 16 days of competition.

The Games are scheduled for July 23rd to August 8th, and no fans or relatives of the athletes will be allowed to attend due to Japanese visitation restrictions already imposed. But locals and citizens were to be allowed to attend, however that is up in the air as of now.

The opening ceremony in the 68,000-seat Olympic Stadium will only be attended by VIP’s according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which cited multiple unidentified sources.