Local viewers are allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics despite fears related to the Covid-19 pandemic, officials said on Monday.
Venues will be limited to 50 percent capacity and up to 10,000 local fans can attend events when the Games open next month, Organizing Committee officials and the International Olympic Committee said on Monday.
Though Japanese officials further warn They could shut out all viewers from the games if the pandemic worsens.
The decision was made by the five parties involved in organizing the Games: the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan.
If other government measures are taken to prevent the virus from spreading, the number of viewers allowed at the venues could be changed, the statement released by the five parties said.
The decision contradicts the country’s top medical advisor, who recommended last week that the Olympics be the safest possible without fans. Dr. Shigeru Omi previously called it “abnormal” to hold the Olympics during the pandemic.
In addition to limiting the number of spectators, the organizers said that masks should be worn at all times in the venues of the games and that loud shouting and speaking is prohibited.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, international fans were banned from traveling to Japan for the Olympic Games this summer in March.
The games, which were originally scheduled for 2020, have been postponed until this summer and are set to open on July 23 However, there have been questions about how Japan will prevent further coronavirus outbreaks.
Tokyo and other areas are currently in “quasi-emergency” status until July 11th. This replaced a heightened full state of emergency that was in effect until last weekend.
According to the organizers, between 3.6 and 3.7 million tickets are in the hands of Japanese residents.
NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News, owns the US media rights to the upcoming Olympics.
Arata Yamamoto and The Associated Press contributed.