Thousands of revelers returned to Hong Kong Stadium on Friday to enjoy a highly anticipated international rugby sevens tournament for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

It wasn’t a celebration for everyone, though, with some international fans unaware of the city’s pandemic restrictions turned away at the gates.

The Hong Kong Sevens, a popular stop on the World Rugby Sevens Series circuit, is part of the government’s drive to restore the city’s image as a vibrant financial hub after it scrapped mandatory hotel quarantine for travelers.

Hundreds of spectators, some in fancy dress and superhero costumes, had gathered by mid-afternoon. A total of 24,000 fans attended the tournament on Friday.

The city’s pandemic rules require spectators to show a photo of their rapid virus test results and scan a risk notification app upon entry. Fans were required to wear masks except when eating or drinking in their seats. The stadium in Causeway Bay was capped at 85% of its 40,000 capacity. Not all fans kept their masks on as required, amid music, fireworks and entertaining rugby on the field.

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