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Testing, bubble, entourage limit: New protocols in US Open 2020

Mega-event will begin from Monday in New York

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 31, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Aug 31, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

Photo: AFP

US Open 2020 is set to begin from Monday in New York which will signal the resumption of high-profile tennis after a lengthy break due to coronavirus.

Activities in the tennis world affected immensely with the outbreak of pathogen in different parts of the world.

All events, including Wimbledon and French Open, have been either cancelled or postponed as countries dealt with the impact of Covid-19.

US Open will become the first Grand Slam in the post coronavirus era, which will be played in the flushing meadows.

The feel around this year’s mega-event is rather dull, largely because several top players—including defending champions Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu—have already withdrawn from the competition over health concerns.

Absence of important players will not be the only difference in this year’s US Open as the authorities have introduced a number of new laws to ensure the safety of the players.

Here, Samaa Sports look in detail about the changes in this year’s competition.

No crowds allowed

Any sporting event has two components to make it successful—athletes competing on the field and spectators cheering them off the field.

However, this year’s US Open will be the first in its history to be played behind the closed doors to control the risk of virus transmission.

The move is taken after a number of successful sporting events organised in the world without spectators including the German Bundesliga, Premier League, UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Serie A, England and Pakistan series, Caribbean Premier League, NBA, MLB and NHL.

Limited entourage:

Under the guidelines issued by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), players will only be allowed to have as many as three members in the entourage during the competition, which is far lesser than the previous editions.

Testing protocols:

In the ‘new normal’ after the outbreak of coronavirus, having proper testing protocols is of the utmost importance.

Just like every other sporting event currently taking place across the world, this year’s US Open will also have its special testing protocol in place.

All players and staff members have been tested on arrival whereas they were tested again after 48 hours.

After the initial two tests, all individuals taking part in the competition will be tested after four to seven-day period.

Testing positive protocols:

Players who will test positive during or before the competition for coronavirus will be excluded from the competition and will have to observe a 10-day isolation period. 

The players will also be removed from the tournament if his/ her roommate is tested positive for Covid-19 and will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Rules against leaving biosecure bubble:

Players who leave the biosecure bubble will be excluded from the competition with immediate effect.

USTA has designated two hotels as a biosecure bubble whereas in some circumstance, players private residence has been declared a bubble as well.

If a player’s supervisor is found guilty of breaching the social distancing protocol, he/she will not only be excluded from the competition but will also not receive accreditation in the next year’s competition.

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