Tokyo 2020 organizers have urged the public not to line the route of the Olympic marathon over fears that crowds of fans could spread the novel coronavirus.
With less than three weeks before the pandemic-postponed Games begin; concern is growing over a rebound in virus cases in Japan.
“In view of the current Covid-19 situation, it will be necessary to reduce the risk of infection by restricting the movement of members of the public,” organizers said in a statement about the marathon and race walk events.
“It has therefore been decided to ask the public to refrain from spectating along the course.”
Organizers have also vowed to work with local authorities “to ensure a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games for all participants.”
With Covid-19 cases on the rise and fears over the spread of new coronavirus variants, Japan’s government is this week expected to extend virus restrictions in several parts of the country.
Japan’s Covid outbreak has not been as severe as in some countries, with around 14,800 deaths, but experts say another wave could stretch medical services as the Olympics begin.