Earlier this week, organizers from the Tokyo Olympic committee were considering allowing alcohol sales at Olympic events. But, like many things the Olympic committee has done, they were met with immediate backlash from Japanese citizens.
Today, organizers announced that alcohol sales will be banned at Olympic events. According to Reuters, “high-fives and talking loudly” will also be prohibited.
“If our citizens have concerns [over serving alcohol at the Olympics], I think we have to give up on that.” Tokyo Olympics President Seiko Hashimoto told reporters. “That’s why we have decided to ban the sale of alcohol.”
I mean, citizens also have concerns about staging the Olympic games in general. A recent poll from the Kyodo News found 86 percent of respondents fear a COVID rebound if the Olympics are held (which, by all indications, they will be).
But a day after the poll dropped, the organizing committee announced that fans would be allowed to attend events at 50 percent capacity or 10,000 spectators — whichever is less.
Forign spectators will be banned from attending the Games.
“The major challenge at the Tokyo Games is to curb a flow of people and limit a sense of celebration,” Hashimoto added. “We are striving to make the Tokyo Games safe and secure, so it won’t be full of celebration.”
So why are they even allowing spectators if fans can’t, you know, be fans? Well, there’s around 800 million reasons why the embattled Tokyo organizing committee would like to put butts in seats.
Ah, yup, there it is.
While opposition to the Games remains strong, Japan’s COVID cases are dropping, a state of emergency has eased, and a painfully slow vaccination rate is starting to pick up. Still, only 8 percent of the country is fully vaccinated. For comparison, the U.S. has fully vaccinated 45 percent of its population.
The opening ceremonies are just one month away.