Decision on international fans at Tokyo Games in late March - IOC

FILE PHOTO: The Olympic rings are pictured in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Lausanne, Switzerland, February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Denis?Balibouse

(Reuters) - A decision on whether international spectators will be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics Games this summer will be taken by the end of March, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday.

"In terms of spectators there will be a decision towards the end of March, at least regarding international spectators," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told a virtual news conference. "Beyond that it is too difficult to say."

Most Japanese do not want international visitors to attend the Games which are due to open in July amid fears that a large influx of visitors could spark a resurgence of novel coronavirus infections, a Yomiuri newspaper poll showed.

The survey showed 77% of respondents were against allowing foreign fans to attend, versus 18% in favour.

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto has said she wants a decision on whether to let in overseas spectators before the start of the torch relay on March 25.

The Olympics, postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8 and the Paralympics from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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