Header image courtesy of Hong Kong Sevens (via Facebook)
Originally published by Jianne Soriano. Last updated by Celia Lee.
Following a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament is finally returning this year! Scheduled for 4 to 6 November, it is set to be the city’s first major international sports event to take place since the pandemic began. In 2019, it attracted over 120,000 spectators with about 40 overseas rugby teams participating.
Hong Kong Sevens’ return comes after the Hong Kong Rugby Union received the green light from the government to move ahead with the event. Given the city’s strict social distancing measures and quarantine rules, the Hong Kong government is mulling over the adoption of a similar approach to Tokyo and Beijing’s Olympic-style “closed-loop” system. Players will only be allowed to move between the airport, hotel, and sports venue.
Hong Kong’s landmark sports event usually sees tens of thousands of fans packing the stadium, but this year is expected to be different. Although the government has scrapped the quarantine requirements for arrivals in Hong Kong from 26 September, they will still have to undergo periods of medical surveillance and self-monitoring. So, whilst this counts as quarantine-free travel into Hong Kong, it is best for spectators to keep this period of self-monitoring in mind whilst planning for their trip to attend the Hong Kong Sevens.
South China Morning Post reported that organisers will cap ground capacity at 85 percent. According to Yeung Tak-keung, the commissioner for sports, visitors will be required to wear masks when not drinking. It is likely that eating will not be allowed during the games to minimise mask-off activities. Instead, visitors can opt to dine at “eating outlets.”
In a statement, the organisers confirmed that they are consulting with the Hong Kong government to ensure compliance with Covid-19 measures. But all seems to be going well as tickets for the much-anticipated Hong Kong Sevens are now available for sale on the official Hong Kong Rugby Union ticketing platform!
A total of 10,000 three-day tickets are on sale right now for the tournament. However, the organiser of this landmark event clarifies that a small number of these tickets will be reserved to answer increased international tourist demand after the government issued the lift on mandatory hotel quarantine policies on 26 September. Fans of the Hong Kong Sevens, don’t fret! Not only are tickets still sold on a first-come, first-served basis, but prices remain the same as those for the tournament since 2019. Get yours before they’re all gone!