By the end of March, Tokyo 2020 will have decided whether or not international spectators will be permitted at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A five party meeting between the IOC, IPC, Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese Government had the matter at the top of the agenda with new Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto revealing a decision would be made by the end of March, sating that her personal preference would be before the torch relay starts on 25th March.
IOC President Thomas Bach said that ensuring “safe, secure and fair competition” would take priority. Saying “I think we all agree that we will focus on the Games. That means mainly the competitions. This has to be the clear focus to have a safe, secure and fair competition for all the athletes, because this is the core of the Olympic Games. In this respect, we may have to set one or another priorities, and we have to be aligned in these priorities. I do not think this is a challenge because we agree on this principle.”
Bach continued with “I think we also agree that it is key for the success of the Olympic Games that we have as the top priority the COVID-19 countermeasures, and that we are doing everything to ensure the safety of the Games for all participants, but also for the Japanese people and the population of Tokyo in particular. There we are standing at your side, you have our full commitment. Because it is our interest as much as it is your interest, and it's our common obligation to secure the safety for everybody, including the Japanese people and the population of Tokyo. Therefore, the IOC is standing at your side without any kind of reservation in this respect.”
Japanese newspaper The Mainichi has previously reported that international spectators would not be able to attend the Games due to concerns that spectators coming from all over the world would result in large spikes in Covid-19 cases both in Japan and abroad. Once the decision on international spectators is made a further decision on stadium capacity is expected some time in April.