Up to 10,000 Japanese fans will be permitted at Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues, despite warnings from health bosses. Overseas spectators are already banned but organisers said domestic fans could attend providing crowds did not exceed 50% of a venue's capacity.
Fans will not be allowed to shout or speak loudly, and must wear face masks at all times while in venues. The Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23, while the Paralympics follow a month later, from August 24.
Spectator numbers for the Paralympics will be confirmed by July 16, said a joint statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the government of Japan. The decision to allow spectators comes despite the release of a report last week by Japanese medical experts that said holding the Games without spectators was the least risky and most desirable option.
Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto said: "There are so many cases, domestically and internationally of sports events with spectators."
"By exercising thorough measures and based on the government criteria, we believe we can hold the Games with spectators. The entire world is facing the same issues and we have to work together to overcome them."
Should there be a rapid increase in Covid-19 infections and impact on Japan's healthcare systems, the five parties will consider further restrictions. This could include further reducing spectator numbers at venues.
There are fears that the Games may trigger a surge in coronavirus infections in Japan. As a result, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga last week encouraged the Japanese public to watch the Games on television, rather than attending events in person.
A state of emergency in Tokyo has been lifted, five weeks before the start of the Olympics with emergency Covid-19 restrictions having been in place in Japan's capital and other prefectures since late April amid a surge in infections. However, some quasi-emergency measures will remain in some areas, including Tokyo, until July 11.