Tokyo Olympics to go ahead without spectators in ‘state of emergency’

A huge blow for the Tokyo Olympics just two weeks before the event is due to start.

Spectators are now not allowed to attend events within the city after a state of emergency was declared there overnight.

It follows a surge in Covid infections throughout the capital, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


Speaking through a translator, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto says it’s not ideal, but it has to be done.

“We have no other choice but to hold the games in a limited way.

“There are many people who are looking forward to the games.

“Those people who purchased tickets, as well as the local community people.

“We are very sorry,” Ms Hashimoto said.

Events taking place outside of Tokyo could still be considered for spectators.

On the home front, the state of emergency will put enormous pressure on Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who’s planning to fly to Tokyo for the event.

She’s previously said that it’s a critical trip for her to secure the 2032 Olympic event for Queensland and Australia, saying that it would be a disaster if she didn’t go.

A petition to stop Ms Palaszczuk from leaving the country now has over 80,000 signatures.

The petition was started by stranded Australians overseas, who argue that she will take up a vital spot in hotel quarantine on her return.

Ms Palaszczuk is expected to be questioned about her trip again today.