I want to be optimistic that I will finally make it to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament this April, I really do. The messaging I am seeing right now is a mixed bag, though.
First, there’s this statement from Cathy Pacific about removing restrictions for inbound international visitors to Hong Kong, likely a biased source since their business depends on international travelers:
“Cathay Pacific welcomes the Hong Kong SAR Government’s latest measures to facilitate travel to Hong Kong, especially the decision to remove the Amber Code restrictions under the Vaccine Pass for inbound persons entering Hong Kong”
However, this is in contrast to articles I am reading about the current worsening COVID situation in China as it relaxes it’s Zero-COVID policies in the wake of ongoing protests.
“The World Health Organization is concerned about a spike in COVID-19 infections in China and is supporting the government to focus its efforts on vaccinating people at the highest risk across the country, the head of the U.N. agency said on Wednesday.”
I will be in contact with my travel agency over the next six weeks to determine if I am going to attempt to make the trip or request a refund. I suspect the situation in China will worsen over the winter, not improve.
I had been in contact with my travel agency prior to this announcement. Their response did not seem overly enthusiastic:
We have made a note that you are keen to book this event using your existing credit. Should that not be possible in 2022 it will certainly be valid for the Hong Kong 7’s in 2023 which we expect will be back to its usual March/April spot.
Considering that the HKRU has not yet announced ticketing details I have no idea if I will be able to attend in November. At this time I would say the chances are very low.
Update: The HKRFU published a F.A.Q. page with questions that fans may have about this year’s tournament. Ugh. “We are confident we will see strong local support for all the participating teams [emphasis mine]. Doesn’t sound like they’re very optimistic about a strong foreign turnout nor do they have any idea of how the quarantine rules will look in November. Even the teams will have to stick to hotel “bubbles” and won’t be able to interact with their fans. I guess this means I will have to wait until next April to attend, assuming there is not a worldwide monkeypox or polio pandemic by then.
Just when we thought the world was starting to normalize a bit and had planned trips to the next two stops on the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series, the omicron outbreak has forced the postponement of both the Canada Sevens and Los Angeles (USA) Sevens tournaments.
Canada Sevens has moved from February 26-27 to April 15-16. It turns out this is Easter weekend and I have already read some gripes online about this conflict. I personally could not care less. I’m happy we have secured our field side premium seats — we have two extra seats in case anyone reading this is looking for tickets.
Luckily, we had a bit of tip about the Canada Sevens and I was able to reschedule that hotel and airfare accordingly earlier this week. I didn’t have any issue with the L.A. travel plans, either, but only discovered the new dates when the press releases were posted online.
I have to reschedule my flights with United for a third time and contact the travel agency to push my accommodation and event ticket funds forward anther year. Yes, these are first world problems, for sure, but still very disappointing to me. My “normal life goalposts” keep moving further away. I had already begun preliminary planning to go to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa in September 2022. Next year is either going to be a hell of a travel year or continued disappointment. I will continue to hope for the best outcome but plan for the worst.