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  • Jul
  • 08

Tokyo to be under state of emergency for duration of Olympics

Author Image Press Release

The Japanese Government has introduced a state of emergency in capital Tokyo for the duration of the Olympics in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga decided today to keep the city under the toughest restrictions from Monday (July 12) until August 22. 

It could see the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held without spectators.

Initially, Tokyo 2020 organisers agreed to allow a maximum of 10,000 fans or 50 per cent of a venue's capacity, but this was on the assumption that Tokyo would have left a quaso-state of emergency.

The Games are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 and have already been postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suga is due to hold a press conference later today to explain the decision, which comes a day after Tokyo reported 920 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily increase since the middle of May.

It will be Tokyo's fourth state of emergency since the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020.

Expected measures for the capital include prohibiting restaurants from serving alcohol and asking them to close by 8pm.

Japan has fully vaccinated only 15.2 per cent of its population and approximately 25 per cent of the population are older than 65 years.

The neighbouring prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, plus Osaka, will be under a quasi-state of emergency - which puts fewer restriction on businesses and targets high-risk areas within the prefectures - until August 22 too.

However, a similar measure still in place in five other prefectures - marathon and race walking host Hokkaido, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka - is set to expire on Sunday (July 11) as planned.

The islands prefecture of Okinawa has had its state of emergency extended.

Japan has reported more than 811,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far, resulting in the deaths of more than 14,800 people.

Yesterday's figures showed 1,635 new cases and another 22 deaths.

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