COVID-19: Japan Will Not Admit International Visitors to the Olympics

600,000 people who bought tickets need a refund.

It is official: The 2020 Olympics that were postponed to be held in 2021, but still called the 2020 Olympics, will not allow international visitors who planned on coming to attend the games as spectators. The Olympics are scheduled for July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. 

It should be noted that there will still be over 11,000 athletes from around the world in attendance who will be traveling to Japan. I can only imagine the control measures that Japan and the Olympic Committee are envisioning to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus during the games. Perhaps one thing they might do is restrict an athlete to only being present at the games for the time period in which they compete. No closing ceremony like of old?

There are 600,000 people from outside of Japan who have already purchased tickets for the games. They will be pursuing refunds for sure.

My one observation is that here in the United States we are aiming for small family gatherings for the Fourth of July. I recently wrote an op-ed and warned that the full impacts of the pandemic will at a minimum last through 2021. This Olympic decision is but one example of the type of impact we can still expect. 

Will there be stadiums with tens of thousands of fans packed into them for fall football? We'll have to wait and see if that is possible. 

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.