The Hong Kong open-water swimming team have elected not to travel to the Fina Marathon Swim World Series race in Doha, Qatar, for fear of being quarantined on arrival, according to a social media post by the Victoria Recreational Club (VRC).
The four-person team – Rita Nip, Nikita Lam, Keith Sin and Bill Thorley – were to compete in Doha on February 16. The 2,000m race is the first of a 10-race series, sponsored by China National Sports Group, set to conclude in Hong Kong on October 24.
The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has been spreading across the world and has resulted in a number of countries banning travel from China or Hong Kong, or quarantining people who have recently visited. Qatar has not issued a travel ban from Hong Kong.
Qatar Airways has suspended its flights to mainland China and is offering passengers the chance to change their tickets if they have flights booked to or from mainland China. The website adds this is also available for “Hong Kong, however, please note that Qatar Airways operating flights to/from Hong Kong are not suspended”.
A Hong Kong badminton star is still unsure whether he can compete in the Philippines because of a travel ban. Numerous sporting events in Hong Kong have been cancelled or postponed, including the Standard Chartered Marathon, the 9Dragons Ultra and the TransLantau 100.