International Spectators Won't Be Allowed to Attend the Summer Olympics in Tokyo

The games will also take place with limited capacity.

Tokyo 2020

Following a year-long postponement, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is finally set—with the opening ceremony kicking off July 23. And while fans will be in attendance, despite previous uncertainty, there's one catch: international travelers won't be allowed to attend.

The International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, and both national and local Japanese government officials have banned international spectators—anyone who's not involved in the Olympics in some way—from the event in an effort to cut down on COVID-19 risk. The decision, which came last week, will mean a serious economic blow for the country. Japan is expected to refund 600,000 Olympic tickets and 30,000 Paralympic tickets as a result. IOC President Thomas Bach called it a "difficult decision."

"We will continue to do our utmost to deliver a safe and secure Games in the hopes that the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be a light of hope for people all over the world," the organizers said in a statement.

Ultimately, president of the committee Seiko Hashimoto said that officials needed to make the early determination despite the games still being months out. 

"They have to secure accommodations and flights," she said, according to NBC. "So we have to decide early otherwise we will cause a lot of inconvenience from them. I know this is a very tough issue."

The games will be open to Japanese spectators at a limited capacity, though the exact number allowed in attendance has not yet been announced.

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.