Spectators Will Return to the US Open
Spectators are to be allowed to attend this year’s US Open and US Women’s Open but they will have to be vaccinated against coronavirus or provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
The USGA has confirmed that a limited number of fans will attend the 2021 championships, both held in California this June, after last year's events were played without spectators due to the pandemic.
Those attending the US Women's Open from June 3-6 at The Olympic Club and the US Open at Torrey Pines from June 17-20 will need to follow strict Covid-19 protocols, with face coverings and social distancing required for fans, staff and volunteers even if they have been vaccinated.
California residents must show proof they have been vaccinated at least 14 days before the tournament or that they have tested negative for Covid-19, while it will be mandatory for those travelling into the state that they have received the vaccination to attend.
"Last year, we missed the energy that fans bring to our U.S. Open championships," said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. "We are grateful to our local and state health and safety officials in California to be in a position to welcome some fans back this year to witness the greatest players in the world contending for these prestigious championships, while working to maintain the health and safety of all involved."
The USGA will continue to monitor developments and guidelines in California, with the announcement coming after consulting with the state's health officials. The exact number of fans allowed at either championship has yet to be confirmed.
Elsewhere, the PGA Tour is planning to stop onsite COVID-19 testing for players, caddies and officials in July, according to a memo sent to players outlining the circuit’s adjusted protocols.
Players and caddies who have been fully vaccinated will be exempt from testing and while the memo points out “the Tour does not plan to mandate vaccination,” they are encouraging it. Surely it would make more sense to make it compulsory for everybody directly involved with the PGA Tour to be vaccinated.
“There are common misconceptions and concerns about infertility, altering DNA, microchipping, becoming infected with COVID as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine. These misconceptions and concerns are false,” the Tour said.
Starting in July the Tour will end onsite testing, which began when the circuit restarted its schedule last June, and anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated will be required to take a PCR test within 72 hours of arriving at a Tour-affiliated event. Those tests will be at a player’s own expense and will be a “condition of competition.”
Under the adjusted policy, anyone who has been fully vaccinated and comes in contact with someone who has COVID-19 won’t be forced to quarantine unless they have symptoms associated with the coronavirus.
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