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Hong Kong Open cancelled due to COVID-19

(Reuters) - The Hong Kong Open, scheduled to be held next month, was scrapped on Thursday for a second straight year because organisers decided they could not stage the event amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The women’s tournament was cancelled last year due to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong which also affected soccer fixtures and a golf tournament.

“Owing to public health and safety concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are announcing today the cancellation of the 2020 Prudential Hong Kong Open,” organisers said in a statement, as reported by the South China Morning Post.

“The health and safety of players, spectators, guests, partners, tournament staff and volunteers, as well as the wider community, are our prime concerns.”

Hong Kong has recorded over 5,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 103 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Organisers said the cancellation was determined after consulting with tournament sponsors and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), with air travel restrictions also a factor.

“Rest assured that the tournament will be back bigger and better in 2021,” organisers added.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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