The Tokyo Olympics are slated to begin in two weeks, making the latest news out of Japan quite concerning.
The country declared a state of emergency in Tokyo on Wednesday amid a rise in coronavirus infections, according to BNO News.
According to Reuters, Japan is now considering banning all spectators from the Olympics. The country previously banned foreign spectators due to COVID-19 concerns.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said last week that he would decide on new measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Those measures are expected to determine whether spectators can attend Olympic events, Reuters adds.
Tokyo reported 920 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest since May 13, according to Reuters. Only a quarter of Japan’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A decision on virus restrictions in Tokyo will be made Thursday after Suga talks with health experts. The Japanese government is also slated to meet with the International Olympic Committee this week to discuss the question of spectators.
It was announced last month that 10,000 fans (50% capacity) would be permitted to each Olympic venue. If that decision stands, fans will be required to wear masks, and no cheering is allowed. Over 3.64 million tickets have been sold to Japanese residents.
Residents of Japan began protests against the Olympics several months ago, holding up signs reading “Extinguish the Olympic Torch” and “Cancel the Tokyo Olympics.”
Eighty percent of Japanese citizens are against the Olympics, according to a recent poll, and 43 percent of those people want the Summer Games canceled.