Olympic Games 2021: Olympic torch relay canceled on public roads in Tokyo

A flame lighting ceremony will however take place behind closed doors.

The Olympic torch relay will begin on Friday July 9 in Tokyo , the municipality confirmed, adding that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the sections that were to take place on the public highway between July 9 and 23, opening date of the Games, “have been canceled, with the exception of isolated island areas” .

However, “a ceremony of lighting the flame will be organized without spectators” Friday at various places, adds the city authorities in a statement. Already, Tuesday July 6, the organizers of the Olympic Games and local Japanese authorities asked the public to “abstain” from attending the marathon and the walking events in Sapporo (northern Japan).

In camera at competition venues still an option
The Japanese government must decide, in principle Thursday, July 8, whether to extend health restrictions in Tokyo and other departments, which could have an impact on the presence or not – and to what extent – of spectators at the venues. Olympic. A meeting of other stakeholders including the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 is also expected on Thursday, according to media reports, and the spectator issue is expected to dominate discussions.

As early as March 2021, the organizers took the unprecedented decision to ban spectators coming from abroad. In June, they had authorized the presence of local spectators, but at 50% of the capacity of each site and within a maximum limit of 10,000 people.

On July 2, the president of the organizing committee, Seiko Hashimoto, declared that the closed door at the competition venues remained “an option” in the aftermath of concerns expressed by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga over the upsurge in cases of Covid-19 in the capital.

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