Hong Kong's biggest annual sports event - the international HSBC Rugby Sevens Series - is slated to return Nov. 5 to Nov. 7 after several COVID-related delays, organizers said.

The tournament, usually scheduled for April in Hong Kong, was canceled in 2020 after the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China and postponed again this year as infections in Hong Kong rose over the winter.

Health and safety of players and staff are still the "top priority," coordinators said in a statement and they will continue to monitor the world pandemic situation as the event draws closer.

Affiliated events in Paris, Dubai, Singapore and Cape Town will also take place in the fall with five women's events and four men's events in this year's "condensed" series.

This "marks a significant and exciting moment for rugby sevens' reemergence from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic," World Rugby interim chief executive Alan Gilpin said in a statement. "We thank HSBC and all partners for their hard work, patience and spirit of collaboration."

It remains to be seen whether a live audience will be permitted at the November Hong Kong Sevens, but organizers will undoubtedly be weighing both health and financial concerns.

There is "no commercial sense" in having spectators unless the stadium is at least half filled, Hong Kong Rugby Union head Robbie McRobbie said in December.

World Rugby's first live event will take place in Paris this spring and the fall lineup of events may be expanded to include games in London and Vancouver, pending local authorities' approval.