Japan to declare new state of emergency just two weeks before Tokyo Olympics after surge in coronavirus cases

THE likelihood of the Tokyo Olympics taking place entirely behind closed doors has increased with Japanese government chiefs set to enforce a state of emergency across the city.

When overseas fans were banned earlier this year it was still envisaged that domestic crowds of up to 10,000 spectators could attend events.

But with Covid cases in Tokyo rising rapidly – and just 25 per cent of Japan’s adult population having received a single dose of the vaccination – the latest moves will kibosh any hope of fans attending.

Tokyo has been put under three previous states of emergency.

But the new one is set to last until August 22 – a fortnight after the end of the Games which officially open on July 23.

Government leaders are ready to confirm the new regulations.

They will force restaurants to shut early, effective curfews for many and strictly limi the sale of alcohol in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of  Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa.

Today saw 920 new cases of Covid in Tokyo, the highest daily tally since May 13.

It is likely that only VIPs will be allowed to attend the gala Opening Ceremony and parade of nations in the Olympic Stadium on July 23.

Japanese Government officials are also seeking to slash the number of dignitaries in the sparse crowd.

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However, the International Olympic Committee is pushing hard for some sponsors, guests and diplomats to attend.

But it now seems certain that all events will be entirely fan-free, with a final decision expected tomorrow.

Team GB have already flown out to the Far East to finish their preparations ahead of the rearranged Games.

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