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Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Covid alert grows. Everything you need to know about games

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The restrictions, announced by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, were decided to minimize the risk of coronavirus infections. After a series of talks with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the governor said the six areas initially planned to broadcast the live events of the Games will be converted into mass vaccination points against Covid-19. The places included the Yoyogi, Inokashira and Hibiya parks.

Local population and businesses opposed to the Games

The announcement of the cancellation of all public events related to the Games comes on the eve of the competitions and in an increasingly worried country. Not only the majority of the population, but also the business world has been saying for weeks against the holding of the Games with the pandemic still in progress. Kyodo News reported that 64% of 9,163 companies surveyed by Tokyo Shoko Research between June 1 and 9 are in favor of a cancellation or other postponement.

Kyodo News said this is an 8.1% increase from a previous February poll. Only 35.9 percent supported the staging of the Games as planned from 23 July to 8 August, down from 43.8 percent. The main reservation cited relates to the fear of an increase in the number of infections.

The majority of the Japanese population also opposes the holding of the Games, according to several polls. One of the reasons is the slowness of the vaccination plan, which came into effect only recently: one month after the Olympics, most Japanese still had to receive the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Risk of increased infections: emperor Naruhito “distressed”

The tension is so high that even the emperor of Japan Naruhito is worried for the possibility that the Olympics could cause an increase in infections. The news came through the mouth of the director of the Imperial Agency, Yasuhiko Nishimura, who explained during a conference that “the sovereign is distressed for the fact that public opinion is against the organization of the event, and for the predictability of an increase in infections ».

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Ban on the sale of alcohol in Olympic venues

The Olympic organizers have announced the ban on the sale of alcohol for the duration of the Tokyo 2021 Games. At first the hypothesis was to allow the sale of alcohol only in the Olympic venues: news that had attracted criticism from the local population, already proven by months of restrictions imposed to counter the advance of the coronavirus, and of traders with shops outside the Olympic venues. Hence the turnaround, with the announcement of the ban.

Tickets sold, with a stop to the public “lottery” hypothesis disappears

The “limited” ok to the public in attendance – if it had been confirmed – would have preserved part of the show and the proceeds, but also given the organizers a further headache. According to official estimates, it would be about 3.64 million tickets still in the hands of Japanese fans (around 800,000 have been returned).

Due to the limited capacity it was estimated that the places available for all the races would be no more than 900 thousand.

The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee had then announced a lottery between ticket holders, to determine who could participate in the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as some athletics sessions and competitions of seven other sports. The lottery option failed with the announcement of the stop to the public.

The retreat of local sponsors

Not only spectators will be missing from the Tokyo Olympic Games. Japanese sponsors are also canceling or resizing the promotional events initially planned. This was reported by the international agency Reuters, which has gathered rumors that local sponsors are “frustrated” by the decisions taken “at the last minute” by the organizers on a crucial issue such as the presence of spectators.

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Olympic business, towards a 400 million hole

The budget of the Games estimated to raise $ 800 million in revenue from the sale of approximately 7.8 million tickets. 3.64 million have been sold: tickets that will now be refunded. It is now clear that this amount will not be cashed is that Government and local institutions will have to make up the deficit.

The official cost of the Tokyo Olympics is $ 15.4 billion, although some government analyzes indicate an even higher cost. If 6.7 billion of private contributions are excluded, the coverage of the Games is guaranteed by public funds. The sponsors cover about 18% of the total revenue, while 75% comes from the sale of the broadcasting rights of the races on TV and via streaming.

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