Hong Kong’s popular international Rugby Sevens event will take place in November, the city’s Rugby Union said on Saturday, the first time in more than three years after the event was postponed due to COVID-19 and stringent travel rules.
The Sevens event, set to be held from Nov 4-6, has been highly anticipated as a sign that the Chinese special administrative region will be able to resume business as normal, after having its borders effectively sealed since 2020.
“After three-and-a-half years without a Sevens, I am confident this will be a very special event…I am delighted to be able to once again tell the world – see you at the Sevens!” Hong Kong Rugby Union chairman Patrick Donovan said in an emailed statement, adding that government approval had been received.
“We will continue to consult with government and the event will be delivered in compliance with the prevailing Covid measures in place at the time.”
The Union said it will announce further event details, including ticketing information, in the near future.
All arrivals into the Asian financial hub are still mandated to do one week of hotel quarantine and comply with frequent testing orders, including stool samples for babies and a raft of forms.
The former British colony has some of the strictest coronavirus regulations in the world outside mainland China, which is pursuing a “dynamic zero COVID” strategy of eradicating outbreaks as soon as they occur.
Hong Kong enforces fewer restrictions, but its policy still contrasts to much of the rest of the world which is co-existing with the virus.
Flight suspensions and mandatory hotel quarantine have hammered Hong Kong’s competitiveness, say many business executives who are hoping the city’s new leader, John Lee, will scrap quarantine rules.
Hong Kong has reported more than 1.3 million coronavirus infections and around 9,400 deaths.