Expect a very muted crowd at the Olympics this year.

The Tokyo Olympics are set to commence in just over a month, but it’s still in a bit of a disarray, with organisers struggling to organise such a huge event in the midst of a global pandemic. With the coronavirus really throwing a spanner in the works, there have been calls to cancel the Games completely, with even volunteers dropping out.

There have already been measures put in place to safeguard against COVID-19, such as restricting spectators to Japanese residents only, but further measures were announced at a press conference that took place on June 17.

Prime Minister Suga announced that up to 10,000 spectators would be allowed at the Olympic events. The exact number will be decided in another meeting between the national government, the government in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and the Japanese Olympic Organising Committee.

Suga further elaborated on other safety measures, adding: “All spectators must wear a mask, and cheering loudly will be prohibited.”

▼ So this guy failed twice.

A similar rule was used for the torch relays throughout Japan, with spectators asked to clap rather than cheer for the torch runners. While a shame for the athletes competing, who are likely spurred on by the cheers of the crowd, the no loud noises move is not an unusual one in Japan. After all, this isn’t the first time such a rule has been implemented.

Suga also stressed the importance of spectators immediately returning home once the event they were watching had finished in order to stop any potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

At present, the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to commence on July 23, but it’s safe to say this will be an Olympics like no other. Although if the opening ceremony is anything like the leaked plans from 2020 suggest it might be, organisers might have a hard time stopping people from letting out an involuntary cheer or two.

Source: Kyodo News
Images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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