US Open says fans must have proof of COVID-19 vaccine for entry
Spectators 12 years or older will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend the US Open, tournament officials announced, with the main draw set to begin on Monday; Andy Murray believes players have a responsibility to the wider public to get vaccinated
Last Updated: 28/08/21 8:42pm
Tennis fans will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend the US Open, just days before the main draw is set to begin.
The New York City mayor's office mandated proof of vaccine to enter Arthur Ashe Stadium, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) have confirmed.
The USTA then elected to extend the vaccine requirement to all attendees 12 years old or older at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, regardless of which facilities ticketholders plan to access.
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"Any US Open attendee with tickets to Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand, or the grounds of the US Open, will be required to provide proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine," the USTA said in a written statement.
The USTA confirmed that the mandate does not apply to athletes competing in the tournament, some of whom have previously expressed reluctance to receive the shot.
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Stefanos Tsitsipas, who faces Britain's Andy Murray in the first round, said earlier this month he would only get the COVID-19 vaccine if it became mandatory to compete in tennis.
The announcement marked an abrupt change for the US Open, the year's final major, which previously said it would rely on unvaccinated fans to wear masks.
Murray says players have a responsibility to the wider public to get vaccinated and believes they will continue to face strict conditions at tournaments if they do not.
"Over the next few months things are going to probably end up changing quite a bit," said the Scot.
"I know the conversations with regards to the Australian Open and stuff are already happening.
"The players that have been vaccinated are going to be having very different conditions to players who are not vaccinated. I can see it's going to become an issue over the coming months.
"If tournaments are going to go ahead and be held like the Aussie Open, a lot of the tour is not vaccinated, but for them to go ahead and host it, they're going to be allowing the players that have had the vaccination to train and move freely between the hotel and stuff, potentially not having to quarantine, and things like that.
"There's going to have to be a lot of pretty long, hard conversations with the tour and all of the players involved to try and come to a solution.
"Even here in New York, you've got the situation with gyms and stuff, you need to be vaccinated. Eating in restaurants and things, obviously you have to be vaccinated.
"I feel like I'm enjoying kind of a fairly normal life, whereas for the players that haven't, it's different. I'm sure they'll be frustrated with that.
"Ultimately I guess the reason why all of us are getting vaccinated is to look out for the wider public. We have a responsibility as players that are travelling across the world to look out for everyone else as well.
"I'm happy that I'm vaccinated. I'm hoping that more players choose to have it in the coming months."