The 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo later this month will follow the lead of the 2020 Olympics and exclude fans from the majority of venues due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The organisers confirmed on Monday however that an exception would be made for school children as part of an education programme.
They said the school children could be allowed to attend venues if local school authorities, in discussion with parents, wish.The Paralympic Games will see around 4,400 athletes from 160 nations compete in Tokyo from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
Tokyo is currently under a fourth coronavirus state of emergency set to last until Aug. 31.The Japanese government, according to local media reports, wishes to extend that to Sept. 12, covering the whole period of the Paralympics.
The decision to keep fans away from the Paralympics was made in discussions with the local Tokyo government and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Andrew Parsons, president of the IPC, recently said the Olympic Games being held “has shown to the world that a major global sports event can be delivered safely”.But he called on those involved in the Paralympics to “be vigilant” to obey health rules.
Considering the alarming rise in infections in Tokyo, experts have urged Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to take “drastic measures” in response, such as stay-at-home orders as used in other countries.
Presently Japan only appeals to citizens to stay at home, while restaurants remain open even though they cannot sell alcohol and must close early.