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COVID and Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Japan bans the public from the Olympics, and makes viewing areas vaccination centers

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday canceled all public viewing sites for the Summer Olympics, changing some locations to be COVID-19 vaccination centers instead.

Foreign spectators are banned from attending the Games, which have been delayed by a year due to the pandemic, but the government and the organizers of Tokyo 2020 have not decided for months to allow Japanese spectators into the stadiums. The ban on public viewing follows the decision by the metropolitan government this month to scrap plans for a public viewing site in Yoyogi Park in central Tokyo, to turn the venue into a vaccination center.

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“I believe these are essential measures if we are looking from different perspectives for a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Koike said after meeting with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

They are speaking to the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee on Monday.

Japanese medical experts said on Friday that banning spectators at the Olympics is the least risky option to continue with the event, while there is the possibility that places could hold up to 10,000 fans in areas where an emergency, such as’ a shorter restaurant hours were canceled.