Few overseas spectators expected at HK Rugby Sevens - RTHK
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Few overseas spectators expected at HK Rugby Sevens

2022-09-23 HKT 16:32
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  • Organisers of the Rugby Sevens say locals are expected to make up the majority of the spectators at the event in November. Image: Shutterstock
    Organisers of the Rugby Sevens say locals are expected to make up the majority of the spectators at the event in November. Image: Shutterstock
Organisers of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens said on Friday that they're not expecting many spectators from overseas to be at this year's tournament.

The event at the Hong Kong Stadium, between November 4-6, will be back after a three-year pandemic hiatus, with top teams around the world set to compete while staying in a closed-loop bubble.

Chief executive of the Hong Kong Rugby Union Robbie McRobbie said he expects a "minimal" number of overseas fans, but this will make it easier for locals to get tickets.

He also said he is delighted to learn about the easing of Covid travel rules.

"Any move that's a relaxation of the quarantine is definitely a positive thing for the Hong Kong sports industry," he told reporters, before the government announced details of the new inbound travel rules.

McRobbie said fans attending the tournament will be required to use the government's vaccine pass, the LeaveHomeSafe app, wear masks and sit in groups of no more than eight.

They will be allowed to drink, but may not be permitted to eat.

"We have proposed several concepts to address concerns, including creating socially distanced food courts inside or adjacent to the stadium during the event, which we believe are feasible," he said.

"But it remains a possibility there'll be no in-seat or concourse level food service available, which certainly would not be optimal from our perspective."

He said organisers have made adjustments to the games' schedule so as to minimise the need for fans to eat while inside the stadium.

As part of the bubble arrangement, players and officials will undergo PCR tests for Covid every day during the tournament, as will hotel and event staff who interact with them.

McRobbie said the teams will be used to such arrangements because they are similar to those put in place for tournaments overseas during the pandemic.

Tickets will go on sale from September 28 for Hong Kong Sevens newsletter subscribers, and the following day for everyone else.