Olympics to allow spectators, but no cheering allowed

The Tokyo Olympics organisers have agreed to allow up to 10,000 domestic spectators. You can’t talk or cheer, but you can clap. Nice.

Tokyo 2020 will allow up to 10,000 domestic fans into Olympic venues to cheer, well, clap, on their nation.

The International Olympic Committee and Japan’s government agreed on venues having a limit of 50 per cent capacity, with a maximum of 10,000 spectators allowed.

Tokyo to allow spectators
Image: Masatoshi Okauchi/Rex/Shutterstock

Government officials said they would leave open the option of holding events without spectators if the infection situation worsened before or during the Olympics.

We may potentially bring down the number of spectators, a cap on the spectator’s or…no spectators,” said Olympic Committee President, Seiko Hashimoto to NBC News.

In a joint statement, Olympic officials said spectators would have to wear masks at all times and could not shout or cheer, although clapping would be allowed.

In the event of any rapid change in infection status and in the capacity of the medical care system, a five-party meeting will be held promptly to consider further measures,” the statement read.

Public health experts have raised concerns regarding spectators, the majority saying that it could trigger a rebound in infections across Tokyo or the birth of a new variant due to the games.

Opinion polls have repeatedly shown that more than 80 per cent of Japanese people don’t want the games to go ahead.

In a report, Japanese medical experts warned that there was “a risk the movement of people” would “strain the [country’s] medical system“.

The report said that holding the Games without spectators was the “least risky” option and the desirable one.

Over the weekend, a member of Uganda’s Olympic team tested positive for COVID-19 and was barred from entering Japan in the first detected infection among arriving athletes.

The Olympics will open on 23 July.