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Tokyo issues state of emergency ahead of Olympics this month, all spectators now banned

The Olympic committee last month banned overseas spectators.

Published: July 8, 2021 11:24am

Updated: July 8, 2021 12:39pm

Tokyo on Thursday issued a state of emergency that will now bar any spectators from watching the Olympic Games that start July 23. 

In March, the Olympic organizing committee banned overseas spectators form the Olympic and Paralympic games, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The emergency declaration this week also states all bars, restaurants and karaoke parlors will be closed through August 22, which means fans will have watching the Olympic games, rescheduled from 2020, in a non-public setting. 

The order is set to go into effect Monday. The game run through  Aug. 8. The Paralympics will start Aug. 24.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in announcing the country's emergency status cited the new, highly contagious delta strain of the virus that appears to have originated in India.

"Taking into consideration the impact of the delta strain, and in order to prevent the resurgence of infections from spreading across the country, we need to step up virus prevention measures,” Suga said.

Japan has had over 810,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and just under 15,000 deaths. Additionally, only 15% of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated and 25% has received one dose. 

Tokyo reported 896 new cases on Thursday, up from 673 last week, the Associated Press reports.

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