Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Overseas Spectators Will Be Banned From Attending

“First principle is safety,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.

Image Credit: / Shutterstock

Angela Donato, Entertainment Editor & Social Media Manager

The upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games this summer will be taking place without any overseas spectators after it was decided by its organizers to bar entry into Japan due to the threat of COVID-19.

This decision was announced back on March 20th during an online meeting between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020 and the Government of Japan.

“In many ways, the Tokyo 2020 Games will be completely different to any previous Games. However, the essentials of the Games will remain unchanged, as athletes give their utmost and inspire the world with transcendent performances,” Tokyo 2020 President Hashimoto Seiko said.

She continued, “We are currently working on specific plans to share support remotely from around the world and help bring people together in ways suited to our current times. Even if you are no longer able to come to Japan this summer, we hope very much that you will continue to support the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

This stance on not allowing international fans took into the current situations surrounding the coronavirus in Japan and worldwide.

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Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto Credit:

Both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) both respected and accepted this decision on barring overseas spectators from entering Japan this summer for the Olympics games.

“Every decision has to respect the principle of safety first. I know that our Japanese partners and friends did not reach this conclusion lightly. Together with them, the IOC’s top priority was, is and remains to organize safe Olympic and Paralympic Games for everyone: all the participants and, of course, our gracious hosts, the Japanese people,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.

Tokyo 2020
Olympic rings displayed in front of the site of the New National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan (2019)  Image Credit: REUTERS / Issei Kato

He continued, “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the side of our Japanese partners and friends, without any kind of reservation, to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 a great success.”

Bach also ensured that along with their broadcasters the IOC would do everything to ensure that all worldwide fans will still be able to experience the Olympic Spirit!

Any overseas fans who purchased tickets for the upcoming games will all receive a refund. And information on the refund mechanism will be announced in the future, according to the statement.

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December 3rd, 2020

A meeting was held for COVID-19 Countermeasures at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Sugita Kazuhiro who represented the Government of Japan.

On this day an interim summary of COVID-19 countermeasures was issued which included the following regarding international spectators:

“The final decision on the maximum number of spectators permitted at venues will be made by next spring. These figures will reflect the upper limit on spectators at domestic events in force at the time and will take into account infection levels in Japan and overseas. They will also reflect the outcome of the pilot experiments being currently conducted to ascertain the consequences of raising the upper limit of spectators.”

Also included were provisional plans for COVID-19 countermeasures: Click Here to access the PDF.

February 19th, 2021

G7 leaders supported Japan’s commitment, “to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19,” in a joint statement made by the G7 leaders.

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Olympic 2020 Overseas Ticket Refund Information

March 2021

Many overseas fans will not receive full refunds for their tickets. CoSport which is the Authorized Ticket Resellers (ATR) for the U.S.A said that ticket holders would not be receiving a refund for the handling fee.

ATR’s are allowed to charge a 20% handling fee on tickets. So, for example for tickets worth $2,000 a reseller can charge $2,400.

“Tokyo organizers have said they would refund the face value of the tickets, but are not responsible for other added charges. They have said they will not cover the extra fees imposed by ATRs, or cancellation fees for hotels or flights,” ESPN.

CoSport will, however, refund the face value of the tickets as well as the shipping fees.

Ticket holders had until April 9th to submit an application for a refund.

Any new information regarding refunds for overseas ticketholders will be added here once it is announced.