The torch relay for the Tokyo Paralympics will be taken off public roads for Aug. 20-24 legs in the capital due to the current COVID-19 infection status, the metropolitan government said Tuesday.
The runners will gather at a celebration venue instead and pass on the flame in a so-called torch kiss ceremony, it said. The relay for the Paralympics in the capital planned to have 700 runners tour a course of around 35 kilometers.
The flame gathering events at the metropolitan government's building, which put together flames collected in 62 municipalities in the capital, will be held without spectators.
Each Tokyo municipality has the right to decide how to collect the flame and whether to hold a related event, the metropolitan government said.
"The relay was scheduled to visit places of interest in respective regions and there were lots of runners looking forward to the event, so it is extremely disappointing," a metropolitan government official said. The Paralympics will be held from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
The torch relay was also taken off public roads in the capital for the Tokyo Olympics, apart from islands, with runners taking part in the torch-kiss ceremony.