The Planned Tokyo Summer Olympics May Not Happen Because of COVID-19

The clock is ticking.

Japan may be running out of time in the country’s hope to stage the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in July. The country has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. The Tokyo area is in a state of emergency because of that. The 2020 Tokyo Games was postponed after the outbreak of COVID-19 globally last spring. There was hope that the Games could go on in 2021 but the virus is a stubborn opponent and without virus containment and getting the vaccine into people’s arms in Japan along with foreign Olympic athletes, staff and other personnel it may be difficult to hold the Games. The International Olympic Committee will ultimately make the decision on whether the event can go on. It is thought that a decision will have to be made within 60 days. According to the IOC, there is no Plan B for the Olympics. If the Games cannot go on, the event will not be rescheduled.

Meanwhile Japan has further tightened entry into the country because of the new COVID-19 strain. The Japanese government will not allow most foreign nationals into the country in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Japan had hoped to allow international travelers into the country in early 2021. The International Olympic Committee seems to be in the dither about athletes taking the vaccine and whether all athletes and related Olympic personnel should take the vaccine. “In the athletes should not cut in line to get the vaccine department”, Olympic athletes should wait for their turn as they are not first line responders, members of medical staffs, workers in grocery stores or living in long term health care or senior residences. The IOC is not requiring Olympic personnel to take COVID-19 vaccines for the Tokyo Games. The Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to start on July 23rd.

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The Olympic rings are seen Monday, March 30, 2020, in Tokyo. The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games. Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)