A state of emergency will be in place while the Olympic Games are on in Tokyo

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Tokyo Olympics To Be Held Without Fans Amid Covid-19 Emergency

The 2021 Olympic Games will be held without fans in and around venues in Tokyo due to a spike in Covid-19 infections. 

Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa announced on Thursday that a state of emergency in the capital will be in place while the Games are on to limit the spread.

The Olympic golf competitions will be played at Kasumigaseki Country Club, with the men’s event taking place from July 29 to August 1 and the women’s from August 4-7.

A ban on foreign fans was announced back in March so this latest update is a further blow for tournament organisers.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said: “It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections.

“I am sorry to those who purchased tickets and everyone in local areas.”

Given the inherent nature of golf, fans in limited numbers have returned to events in the US and the UK, with 32,000 per day set to descend upon Royal St George’s for next week’s Open Championship.

As it stands though, the best players in the world will compete for Olympic Gold in silence.

Stadiums in the regions of Fukushima, Miyagi and Shizuoka will be permitted to have spectators up to 50 per cent capacity with a maximum of 10,000 people in attendance.

A new wave of infections hit Japan in April and have continued to rise since, with the majority being recorded in Tokyo. Of the 2,180 new cases reported on Wednesday, 920 were in the country’s capital city, which represents the highest daily rate since May 13. 

Japan’s vaccination rollout has been slow, meaning that just over 15 per cent of the country is fully vaccinated, and there are major concerns over the Delta variant.

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There is widespread opposition to the Games with a June poll in the leading Asahi Shimbun newspaper suggesting that more than 80 per cent of the population want the event to be cancelled or postponed again.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters the state of emergency would run from July 12 and remain in place until August 22.

“Taking into consideration the effect of coronavirus variants and not to let the infections spread again to the rest of the nation, we need to strengthen our countermeasures,” he said.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in the Japanese capital between July 23 and August 8.