US Open Requires COVID-19 Vaccine for Spectators Days Before Tournament

By Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps
August 28, 2021 Updated: August 29, 2021

The U.S. Tennis Associated (USTA) changed its policy on COVID-19 vaccines for the 2021 U.S. Open months after tickets went on sale, previously stating that unvaccinated fans would be allowed to attend the two-week Grand Slam tournament in New York.

Just days before the main draw is set to begin, the USTA announced in a statement that they’ve been informed by the New York mayor’s office that proof-of-vaccination documents will be required to enter Arthur Ashe Stadium, the main arena at the National Tennis Center.

“Given the continuing evolution of the Delta variant and in keeping with our intention to put the health and safety of our fans first, the USTA will extend the Mayor’s requirement to all U.S. Open ticket holders 12-years-old and older,” the USTA statement reads.

“Any U.S. Open attendee with tickets to Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, The Grandstand, or the grounds of the U.S. Open, will be required to provide proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the grounds.”

The tennis tournament is set to begin on Aug. 30, and fans are requested to bring a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card or a photo or photocopy of the card as a way to prove their vaccination status.

In an earlier statement, the USTA said spectators wouldn’t be required to wear masks or show proof of their vaccination status to attend matches at the U.S. Open.

A USTA spokesperson told The New York Post that following the new mandate, a ticket holder who hasn’t been vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus is encouraged to get a vaccine, sell their ticket to someone who’s vaccinated, or go to refund options on the Ticketmaster website.

Epoch Times Photo
A general view of Arthur Ashe Stadium is seen as Dominic Thiem of Austria serves the ball in the first set during his Men’s Singles final match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on Day 14 of the 2020 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York on Sept. 13, 2020. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

“The goal is not to prevent all cases of COVID. The goal, really, is to be certain that we don’t have an outbreak of COVID that’s going to be unusual or that we would regret,” Dr. Brian Hainline, a USTA first vice president and member of its medical advisory group, said on a conference call with reporters earlier this week.

Players aren’t required to get vaccinated against the CCP virus to compete in the tournament, the USTA previously announced after some players expressed reluctance to get the shot. If a player tests positive, they’ll be forced to isolate for 10 days and withdraw from the tournament.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From NTD News

Lorenz Duchamps
Lorenz Duchamps