Olympics organizers are banning all spectators from the games this year after Japan declared a state of emergency that’s meant to curb a wave of new Covid-19 infections.
It’s the latest setback for the Summer Olympics that have already been delayed for a year and racked up high costs for postponement. The state of emergency will begin Monday and run through Aug. 22, while the games are scheduled from July 23 to Aug. 8.
Organizers had already banned international spectators from attending and set a cap on domestic crowds at 50% of capacity, or up to 10,000 people.
There’s immense pressure to curb the spread of the virus at the games, protecting both athletes and neighboring regions. More than 11,000 competitors are expected to travel to Japan to compete, along with thousands of officials and staff also set to attend.