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Costumed Hong Kong Rugby Sevens followers rejoice finish of covid hiatus

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HONG KONG — For the primary time in additional than three years, 1000’s of revelers packed a sports activities stadium to observe the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, a three-day event that ends Sunday. With drinks in hand and masks off (or no less than underneath the chin), they danced to native bands, watched fireworks and donned the foolish costumes which have grow to be the occasion’s trademark.

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens was final held in 2019, earlier than the town imposed anti-coronavirus border closures and social distancing restrictions in early 2020. While guidelines are comparatively relaxed now in contrast with these in mainland China, Hong Kong nonetheless requires masking in public areas, use of a cellphone monitoring app and medical quarantine for some constructive instances.

In September, the federal government mentioned it might abolish obligatory quarantine for vacationers, easing inflexible pandemic guidelines which have pummeled the economic system and fueled an exodus of residents.

Poking mild enjoyable on the guidelines, spectators on the rugby event dressed up as authorities QR codes, and even the coronavirus itself.

Several guests found to their dismay that they may not enter the stadium. Hong Kong’s covid app — which supplies customers a inexperienced, amber or purple code — bars anybody who flies into the town from coming into sure venues, comparable to eating places or bars, for 3 days.

After native media shops picked up on the case of Renier Du Plessis, a barred South African vacationer who grow to be generally known as #AmberCodeMan on Twitter, he was lastly allowed in.

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More than 25,000 tickets have been bought for the Hong Kong occasion, which is a part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. This yr, 16 males’s groups are competing, fewer than in previous years, when as much as 24 groups performed and a few ladies’s groups have been included. (The title is derived from the truth that the groups discipline seven gamers versus 10 or 15.)

Just days earlier, Hong Kong’s first main monetary summit because the begin of the pandemic had concluded with rousing declarations that the “worst is behind us.”

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