TOKYO – No foreign fans will be allowed entry into Japan for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan’s central government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and the Japanese organizing committee of the Summer Games made the decision. They released a statement on March 20 after informing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) of their conclusion.
“Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Japan and many other countries around the world is still very challenging and a number of variant strains have emerged, whilst international travel remains severely restricted globally. Based on the present situation of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely that entry into Japan will be guaranteed this summer for people from overseas,” the Japanese parties said.
“In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This conclusion will further contribute to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public,” they further stated.
They said overseas residents who have bought tickets for the Olympic and Paralympic events will receive refunds.
The IOC and IPC respected and accepted the decision.
The postponed Tokyo 2020 Games have been moved to July 23 to Aug. 8 for the Olympics, and Aug. 24 to Sept. 5 for the Paralympics. - Florenda Corpuz
(Photograph by Din Eugenio)