US Open Unveils Strategy for COVID-19
The sport of tennis is gearing up for the inaugural U.S. Open, but it will not be without changes. One of those changes will see is being held without the crowds of adoring fans. The event, which is scheduled to run from the 31st of August through to the 13th of September however will not enforce restriction on the teams that travel with players.
As expected, Flushing Meadows will play host to the Grand Slam event even though a number of top-seeded players have expressed concerns over its location in New York City. The plan submitted and approved by New York’s Mayor, Andrew Cuomo, will be without qualifying matches or mixed doubles matches.
Mike Dowse, the US Tennis Association chief commented that “We can showcase tennis as the ideal social distancing sport.” To date, there has not been any tennis tournaments played since March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, in order to accommodate the U.S. Open, a firm health and safety plan has been provided to players, their teams and various other organizations involved in its running. These include:
- Among the details in the US Open’s health and safety plan, which has been widely shared on social media, were:
- All players who travel to New York to attend the tournament will be restricted to staying at hotels outside of Manhattans and may only book a maximum of two hotel rooms.
- Only two people per room will be permitted however options for renting private residences is allowed
- Players travelling to New York will be entitled to two rooms in an official hotel outside Manhattan.
- No Players entering the U.S will need to get tested before leaving but will not be required to undergo quarantine
- Throughout the tournament, all players, coaches and event staff will be tested once or twice a week and will have to submit to daily temperature checks.
- All in attendance at the venue will be required to wear mask unless working out, playing in a match or practising.
United States has highest death toll from coronavirus cases
Currently, the United States has seen an implosion in the number of reported confirmed cases of CIVID-19. They also have the highest death rate with current reported deaths reportedly now surpassing 100,000. The state of New York has been the one hit the hardest with over 30,000 deaths being recorded, hence the added precautions, although many would argue the Open should be postponed.
On the decision to move ahead with the U.S. Open, US Tennis Association chief Mike Dowse said, “We recognise the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the first global sporting events in these challenging times. We will do so in the safest manner possible, mitigating all potential risks.”