OTTAWA — The Continental Cup curling competition was cancelled for a second straight season Wednesday due to challenges stemming from the pandemic.

Tougher travel restrictions for visitors to Canada and isolation requirements for European teams headed to February's Beijing Olympics were reasons cited by Curling Canada for scrubbing the Jan. 20-23 event in Fredericton.

“We did everything we could to make this happen, and I know Fredericton was truly excited to be welcoming the Continental Cup, but the events of the past couple weeks related to the new variant have made it impossible to hold the event,” Curling Canada chief executive officer Katherine Henderson said in a release.

“The travel restrictions, as well as the proximity in date to the Winter Olympics, were going to prevent most, if not all, of the European teams to attend, and that would affect the integrity of the competition. I will guarantee, though, that Fredericton remains in our sights and we look forward to a time in the near future when we can hold a major event there.”

The Continental Cup format pits Canada against Europe in a series of team play, mixed doubles, scrambles and skins games. The first to score 30.5 points is declared the champion.

Europe won its second straight Continental Cup in January 2020, topping Canada 37.5-22.5 in London, Ont.

The 2021 competition, originally scheduled for last January in Oakville, Ont., was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Other Curling Canada events this season will not be impacted by the cancellation of the 2022 event, the federation said.