US Open tightens protocols, fans must provide proof of Covid vaccination

Under pressure from Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city leaders, the United States Tennis Association has canceled its lax coronavirus p...


Under pressure from Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city leaders, the United States Tennis Association has canceled its lax coronavirus protocols for the upcoming US Open tournament, which opens to thousands of fans on Monday.

Originally, the tournament did not require any proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test for fans to participate, and there was also no mask warrant. But the mayor’s office intervened in the past two days and demanded more stringent protocols.

On Friday night, the tournament announced on its Twitter account that proof of at least one vaccine would now be required for entry onto the pitch for all fans 12 and older. No mask is required.

The mayor’s office insisted that fans entering Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest stadium on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, be vaccinated. But the USTA went further and made it a requirement for all fans entering the tournament field.

“Today, the USTA was informed that the New York mayor’s office will require proof of Covid-19 vaccination for entry to Arthur Ashe Stadium,” the statement read. “With the continued evolution of the Delta variant and in keeping with our intention to prioritize the health and safety of our fans, the USTA will extend the Mayor’s Requirement to all ticket holders for the US Open ages 12 and over. “

De Blasio was not the only city official concerned about the potential for a large coronavirus outbreak. After the tournament announced Wednesday that no vaccines or masks would be required, Mark Levine, a member of Manhattan City Council and chairman of the health committee, said he was “alarmed” that the US Open could become an event. super spread, especially with so many visitors from around the world and country visiting the tournament in Queens, and also going to Manhattan on their tours.

Reached after the reversal of the tournament course on Friday, Levine rejoiced at the reversal.

“I feel tremendous relief,” he said, “and it’s just in time with the crowd due to arrive on Monday.”

Levine pointed out that because ticket holders were only required to get one shot, they had time before the tournament started, if they were motivated to get it.

“No fan is left out unless they want to,” he said. “This is not a drastic measure.”

Tournament organizers said they would add “extra measures” to speed up the process of checking vaccination records at points of entry into the field.

The USTA said it developed its original protocols for fans under guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city’s health department and the mayor’s office. But since then, he said, the mayor has introduced the Key to NYC Pass, requiring customers and employees in restaurants, entertainment and recreation to prove that they have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The mayor was particularly concerned that fans were filling the Arthur Ashe Stadium with the roof closed. The USTA says the ventilation inside the stadium is sufficient for it to be considered an outdoor venue – like one of New York’s two baseball stadiums – even when the roof is closed.

The mayor insisted that the USTA either require proof of a dose of a Covid vaccine or keep the roof open at all times, which could have caused programming headaches in the event of rain.

Players are not required to be vaccinated, but are tested upon arrival at the tournament and every four days thereafter. If they are positive, they must withdraw from the tournament.

Ticket holders who do not wish to provide proof of vaccination can request a refund.

“I think it should always be a personal decision whether you want to get the shot or not,” said Novak Djokovic, who enters the tournament seeking to become the first player, male or female, to win a Grand Slam since. Steffi Graf in 1988. “So I’m in favor of that. Whether or not someone wants to be vaccinated is entirely up to them. I hope it stays that way. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: US Open tightens protocols, fans must provide proof of Covid vaccination
US Open tightens protocols, fans must provide proof of Covid vaccination
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