May’s International Cycling Union-sanctioned (UCI) Nations Cup event in Hong Kong will go ahead, signalling a return of top tier international sport to the city.
The local government did not endorse the plan until it was sent to the office of Hong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
Lam is known to be a keen follower of the sport and is regularly seen at events at the city’s Tseung Kwan O velodrome.
The government has approved the organisers’ Covid-19 safety measures which include, establishing a secure safety bubble for all participants in order to avoid the city’s strict 21-day isolation quarantine requirements for overseas arrivals.
Prior to departing for Hong Kong all riders and officials will be required to test negative for Covid-19, and will undergo regular testing for the virus once they arrive.
They need to stay in two hotels close to the Hong Kong velodrome and will not be allowed to make contact with the community. They will only be allowed to travel between the hotels and the venue for training and competition using assigned transport.
Hong Kong Cycling Association (HKCA) chairman Leung Hung-tak told the South China Morning Post: “Our understanding is the government has approved the event, we are still waiting for the details but at least we know the event can go ahead.”
Leung also highlighted the organisers concern about the arrangements for riders and officials from high-risk areas such as the UK and India. “We have to find out if there is any special treatment for riders who come from these high-risk countries. We know there will be great concern about these riders even among the participants,” said Leung.
The organisers have also not been told how many spectators, if any, will be allowed to attend the event at the 2,000-seat velodrome.