Tokyo could extend coronavirus restrictions to the Olympics: media, sports news

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Japan is considering extending its coronavirus prevention efforts in Tokyo and other areas by two weeks to one month, Japanese media said, with less than a month expected to pass before the Tokyo Summer Olympics open.

The Japanese capital and other areas are currently in a “quasi” exceptional state due to be lifted on July 12, but a recent surge in coronavirus cases has worried officials and could increase the number of spectators admitted to the Olympics will affect.

According to the daily Mainichi Shimbun, the government is considering extending the measures by two to four weeks, a period that would coincide with the Olympic Games, which have already been postponed by a year and will open on July 23.

A government meeting on coronavirus measures is due to be held later Wednesday to discuss how to deal with signs of an impending spike in coronavirus numbers that worries experts, along with concerns over the spread of more highly transmittable variants.

“All decisions about quasi-emergency measures are made on the basis of our current guidelines,” said cabinet chief Katsunobu Kato at a press conference.

In the “quasi” exceptional state, spectators are limited to 5,000 at events. The Olympic organizers have decided that spectators will be allowed up to 50 percent of the event’s capacity or a maximum of 10,000, although foreign spectators have been banned.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who was hospitalized because of fatigue, was released early on Wednesday. According to media reports, she would work from home indefinitely.

Tokyo decided on Tuesday to move the first half of the 15-day Olympic torch relay set to take place in the capital off public roads.

Officials have pledged to hold “safe” Olympic Games but face sustained opposition from a significant segment of the public, with concerns raised after two members of the Ugandan delegation tested positive upon arrival in Japan.