International travelers will be barred from attending the Tokyo Olympics

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The Tokyo Olympics will be happening this year, but unfortunately it won’t look quite like the Olympics Games we were looking forward to. Originally scheduled for July 23, 2020, and then postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the games will now take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021, with the Paralympics following shortly from August 24 to September 5, 2021. Given the still-precarious public health situation around the world, however, overseas visitors will not be allowed to attend.

Around 600,000 Olympic tickets already purchased by hopeful international spectators will be refunded, as well as an additional 30,000 Paralympics tickets. Costs for hotel cancellations, however, will not be covered.

Toshiro Muto, chief executive of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, said in a news conference, “People who are involved in the Olympics in some way may be allowed to enter the country, whereas regular visitors will not be able to.”

While in many respects the Games will remain unchanged, the way spectators see them will be vastly different. Tokyo 2020 President Hashimoto Seiko said in a statement, “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.”