Organisers of the Hong Kong Sevens will look to set up a ‘closed loop’ system similar to that used at the Beijing Winter Olympics in a bid to stage the event for the first time since 2019, local media reported on Wednesday.
The South China Morning Post, citing unnamed sources, reported that negotiations between the Hong Kong Rugby Union and the city’s Home Affairs Bureau were at an advanced stage in an effort to host the Sevens in the first weekend of November.
Hong Kong has imposed some of the tightest border restrictions in the world since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with vaccinated visitors only permitted entry after a compulsory seven-day hotel quarantining period.
The city’s highest-profile sporting event has not been held since 2019, with efforts to hold it cancelled on five occasions due to pandemic restrictions.
The report said that players, coaches and staff would operate inside a loop that would only permit teams to spend time at venues and hotels and they would not be permitted to interact with anyone outside of the loop.
Local staff working at the event would also be included in the closed loop and would have to complete seven days hotel quarantine upon completion of their duties.
The article said, organisers are considering allowing Hong Kong Stadium to operate at 85% of its 40,000 capacity and the plans were contingent on the current conditions in the city remaining unchanged.
While Hong Kong has seen an increase to over 1,000 daily cases in the past week, officials have said they are unlikely to further tighten restrictions as the pressure on medical services has not increased.