Vietnam opens SEA Games to spectators

HANOI — The competition venues of the 31st Southeast Asian Games will be open to spectators here in Vietnam to cheer on their favorite teams and athletes, according to Filipino chef de mission Ramon Fernandez.

Fernandez broke the news after attending the first Chefs de Mission meeting at the Hyatt Regency west of Hanoi, where the 11 delegated chefs from the participating nations met.

“The host country will open the venues to fans and spectators as long as they strictly adhere to health and safety protocols,” Fernandez said.

All competition venues except football will charge no entry fees from the opening ceremonies of the biennial event on Thursday until it closes on May 23.

Football has become an exception as the hosts expect a “large volume of spectators”.

Still, with the threat of COVID-19 remaining, Fernandez pushed for the safety of athletes who host assured Vietnam.

“Vietnamese organizers have assured that health protocols will be in place by wearing masks and strictly enforcing social distancing,” he said.

The Philippines team is looking to retain their overall championship after winning the crown in 2019 when the biennial games were held in Manila.

Much of the Filipino contingent arrives here in Hanoi later in the day.

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