13 MARCH 2020 -- Due to the heightened concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and in the interests of the health and safety of all participants and their families, the 2020 Tropical 7s has been cancelled.
The health of the athletes, volunteers, referees, spectators and all participants is of the highest importance and priority for us as organizers. Since our last update on the 6th March, we have been following the guidelines and recommendations of the WHO, the CDC, and local health authorities in order provide a safe environment during the tournament. Given the increasing acceleration of the outbreak and the large number of people planning to attend, hosting the event is no longer possible nor is it in the interest of the health and safety of participants attending the event, their families or the local community. In addition, travel restrictions imposed by national governments and local authorities, alongside policies and recommendations of sporting bodies, have severely limited the ability for teams to travel to the tournament and make a viable competition.
“Our primary responsibility has to be the health and safety of all participants - players, volunteers, suppliers, employees and everyone involved with the event,” said Tropical 7s Director John Siner. “We are very disappointed that the tournament will not go ahead but hosting the tournament would pose a significant public health risk to attendees and their families both here in Orlando and potentially the extended community.”
There are no plans at this time to postpone this year's tournament to a later date. Instead, we will immediately start taking the necessary steps to ensure we will be able to hold the best ever Tropical 7s in 2021, with dates already confirmed for 2-3 April 2021.
We are in the process of reviewing our registration refund policy and will contact teams registered for this year’s tournament in due course. However, we can confirm that teams registered for this year’s tournament will be offered the opportunity to transfer their 2020 team registration without any additional charge to the 2021 Tropical 7s. Any “Team Services” items purchased through the E-Store (e.g. tent rentals, airport transfers, pre-ordered meals, merchandise pre-orders, etc.) for the 2020 Tropical 7s will be refunded.
This has been a very difficult time for tournament organizers these past few days. We have been faced with taking important decisions in a short time period, while trying to be vigilant and educated in order to look after the best interests of our communities. We thank all of the participating teams, partners and other stakeholders for their understanding, patience and support through this difficult time.
Finally, we are also confident that the rugby community stands united in times of challenge and will act in solidarity to not only protect our own community but do what is right for all.