COVID New York City Update: Unlike fans, COVID shots not required for US Open players

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — When Andy Murray sat within the U.S. Open’s essential interview room for a pre-tournament information convention Saturday, the moderator knowledgeable the 2012 champion he was allowed to take away the kind of gentle blue medical masks that has grow to be so ubiquitous in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike the 9 players who met with the media in that spot a day earlier, Murray selected to maintain his masks on. And not like roughly half the opposite males who will probably be taking the courtroom when the 12 months’s final Grand Slam match begins Monday, Murray has been vaccinated towards COVID-19.

He needs extra tennis professionals have been. It units up a few contrasts at Flushing Meadows with regards to a hot-button challenge throughout society nowadays, particularly as circumstances related to the delta variant improve.

For one factor, players and their staff members do not have to be vaccinated, however the spectators who’ve paid to observe them – and at some courts can get shut sufficient to the motion to supply high-fives – now should be capable of present they’ve had a minimum of one shot.

Plus, among the many players, there are these, akin to No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic, who body the choice about whether or not to get a shot as a purely private alternative. And there are these, akin to Murray, who clarify it as being not nearly defending oneself but additionally about serving to others.

“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 traveling across the world to look out for everyone else, as well,” Murray stated. “I’m happy that I’m vaccinated. I’m hoping that more players choose to have it in the coming months.”

An ATP spokesman stated Saturday that simply above 50% of male players are vaccinated and the tour “continues to strongly recommend vaccination to players.” The WTA did not instantly reply to a request for info.

As not too long ago as Wednesday, the U.S. Tennis Association stated followers would not have to be vaccinated. But, prompted by the New York mayor’s workplace, the USTA did an about-face Friday, making it obligatory for followers over 12 years outdated getting into the grounds to indicate proof they’ve acquired one dose – drawing reward on social media from these happy concerning the further layer of precaution and complaints from others upset concerning the coverage and its timing.

People who work together with players already have been required to be vaccinated: USTA staff, chair umpires, ball youngsters, the media and a few in safety and transportation.

Some players say their itinerant life-style, frequently touring from metropolis to metropolis – and even continent to continent – makes getting the vaccine sophisticated.

“There are some opportunities that have come up throughout the year. Maybe a handful,” stated three-time main semifinalist Johanna Konta, who’s not vaccinated and pulled out of Wimbledon due to contact tracing after a staff member examined constructive for COVID-19, then obtained sick herself and missed the Tokyo Olympics. “But obviously it is a logistical thing to put together and to time those things. That is just the nature of kind of our sport.”

Unlike in staff sports activities such because the NFL or Major League Baseball, the place vaccines have been inspired and incentivized, tennis could be very a lot a person sport, the place sure tournaments supply players the possibility to get shots on-site and others do not – together with the U.S. Open itself.

“We provided the athletes with the information of where they can go to be vaccinated in the vicinity of the hotel. … There are so many locations here in New York City for non-citizens to receive a vaccine,” match director Stacey Allaster stated. “We won’t specifically be doing it here on-site.”

Coco Gauff, the 17-year-old American who was a French Open quarterfinalist in June, stated she was purported to get her first vaccine shot the identical week she obtained COVID-19.

“The real problem is just getting the dosages spaced out and, obviously, going from country to country is difficult,” Gauff stated this month.

“But,” she stated, “I’m going to get it as soon as I can.”

Other players, akin to Stefanos Tsitsipas, the runner-up to Djokovic on the French Open, say they solely can be vaccinated if it have been required.

“At some point I will have to, I’m pretty sure about it, but so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete, so I haven’t done it,” stated Tsitsipas, who’s scheduled to face Murray on Monday.

Djokovic and his spouse, Jelena, examined constructive for the coronavirus final 12 months after he organized a sequence of exhibition matches whereas the professional excursions have been on hiatus.

“I feel like that should be always a personal decision, whether you want to get vaccinated or not. So I’m supportive of that,” Djokovic stated. “So whether or not somebody needs to get a vaccine or not, that is utterly as much as them. I hope that it stays that manner.

MORE NEWS: Proof of vaccination now required for US Open ticket holders

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