Spectators will not need to wear masks or show that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend the games of the US Open, which begins next week with full capacity in the stands.
The measures contrast with those of last year, when the public was not even allowed to enter due to the pandemic.
“The goal is not to prevent all cases of COVID. The goal, really, is to make sure there is no outbreak that is atypical or that we regret, ”Dr. Brian Hainline, vice president of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and member, told a press conference on Wednesday. of your medical advice. “We continue to trust the goodwill of the people. Those who have not been vaccinated – although it will not be mandatory – should wear masks. We hope that many of those vaccinated will use them ”.
The last Grand Slam tournament of the year starts on Monday in New York.
Due to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus, up to 150,000 daily cases of COVID-19 are reported in the United States, the highest level since January.
Hainline and other USTA officials said Wednesday that the tournament’s protocols are based on guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the New York Department of Public Health.
“It is not a decision of the USTA or the US Open. The decision comes from New York City, ”said Hainline, who is also chief medical officer for the NCAA, the nation’s governing body for collegiate sports.
Although players and their entourage will be able to go out into town during the tournament, the USTA distributed a graphic that reads in black letters: “It is strongly recommended that everyone exercise caution, especially due to the delta variant. Try to avoid large, crowded gatherings indoors. Only socialize with your team indoors. Wear masks indoors even with other people who are fully vaccinated but are not on the support team ”.
Players do not need to be fully vaccinated to participate in the contest. They will be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive in New York and every four days thereafter. A positive result will lead to the player having to isolate himself for 10 days and will have to withdraw from the tournament.
Spectators will not have to fill out a health questionnaire and their temperature will not be taken upon entering the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (AP)