State of Emergency Declared for Tokyo Three Months Ahead of Olympics

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The Tokyo Olympic logo for the 2020 Games that were rescheduled to 2021 but retained the original name.

TOKYO, April 25, 2021–Tokyo has been placed under a state of emergency in an effort to curb a rise in Covid-19 infections less than three months to the Olympic Games.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also imposed emergency measures, which include banning fans from attending sports events and preventing bars and restaurants from serving alcohol, in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo ahead of the Golden Week holiday April 29-May 5.

The heightened restrictions will be in effect until at least May 11.

“We will implement short and intensive measures during Golden Week, strengthening steps related to eating establishments and temporarily halting the flow of people,” Suga said.

Restaurants are asked to close by 8 pm, stores and movie houses will be shuttered and the Tokyo government wants small business and gyms shut.

Foreign spectators have already been banned under restrictions announced earlier but a decision has not been made on whether Japanese spectators will be permitted. Strict requirements have been drawn up for athletes and their immediate support personnel, officials and the media. The situation is so uncertain that organizers have informed media that decisions on whether and whom will be allowed to cover events will be made each day of the Games.