Japan will not allow international spectators into the country for this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games amid coronavirus concerns, organizers announced on Saturday.
Reuters reports that some 600,000 Olympic tickets will be refunded, along with another 300,000 Paralympic tickets. Costs associated with hotel cancellations will not be covered. Organizers of the games are also considering downsizing the number of staff involved in the event.
The decision not to allow international spectators followed a five-way talk between the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Toyo Metropolitan Government, The Organizing Committee Tokyo 2020, and the Japanese government.
“People who are involved in the Olympics in some way may be allowed to enter the country, whereas regular visitors will not be able to,” Toshiro Muto, the chief executive of Tokyo 2020, said.
Organizers say the decision will “further contribute to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public.” The majority of the Japanese public is worried about international spectators coming into the country while dealing with a third wave of the virus.
The games were rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last March and are set to take place this summer from July 23 to August 8. The Paralympics are scheduled for August 24 to September 5.