Tokyo Olympics 2021: With the number of Covid cases in Tokyo rising just three weeks before the Games, Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has warned that the Olympics in Tokyo may be held behind closed doors.
For events at the pandemic-affected games, organisers decided last month to set a limit of 10,000 fans, or half of each venue's capacity.
However, Yoshihide Suga reiterated his warning that if the situation worsens, spectators may be barred from sporting events, with the government expected to expand anti-virus measures to cover Tokyo as new cases arise.
"There's a chance there won't be any spectators at the Olympics. The safety and security of the Japanese people will be our top priority."Suga
Since a state of emergency was lifted last month and replaced with softer restrictions that are set to expire on July 11, Covid-19 cases have been reported in Japan.
However, the government is expected to extend them as soon as next week, ensuring that they will be in place when the games begin on July 23.
Under current regulations, up to 5,000 spectators are permitted at sporting events, which also require restaurants and bars to close early.
With around 14,800 deaths in total, Japan's virus outbreak has been less severe than in many other countries, but experts warn that another wave of cases could strain medical services around the time of the Games.