The rescheduled 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will take place without fans as another wave of COVID-19 rocks Japan, organizers announced on Thursday.
The virus’ surge this summer has forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital, which will run throughout the event.
Opening ceremonies are set to take place on July 23 when it was expected just a few short weeks ago that some fans would be allowed into Tokyo’s venues.
“It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections,” Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said. “I am sorry for those who purchased tickets.”
Smaller venues outside the Tokyo metropolitan area are still expected to host small crowds, for now.
“We absolutely must avoid Tokyo being the starting point again of another spread of the infection,” Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, said.
According to Reuters, Tokyo’s daily cases of COVID-19 “could increase” to as many as 1,000 this month and could double by August.