Long lines for US Open as cardholders rush to present vaccination certificate

Tennis fans were confused and annoyed Monday by the hour-long delays to enter the first day of the US Open, as ticket holders scrambled to produce a vaccination certificate after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio suddenly changed the rules. turned over to attend the tournament.

On Friday, the mayor of New York ordered the US Open to require a vaccination certificate for all attendees at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

The decision backed up the Queens complex and sparked outrage from many who had no proof of vaccination or did not receive the shot.

‘What about ticket holders who have just recovered from COPID and are not eligible for the vaccination because they have to wait 3 months?’ tweeted Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

Another fan demanded their money back because of the USTA’s short notice.

“Why haven’t you announced refund options for people who can’t provide vaccination cards? You cannot change the rules at the last minute or offer a refund. I don’t want to go through my credit card company, but if I have to, I will,” says a Twitterer with the handle TennisLocks.

In a statement released Friday, the USTA said: “Today the USTA has been informed that the New York City Mayor’s office will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry to Arthur Ashe Stadium during the US Open.”

Tennis fans, who must show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), line up to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tournament

Tennis fans, who must show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), line up to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tournament

Mask and vaccine mandates are required in covered city locations as the number of COVID cases continues to rise due to the dangerously contagious Delta variant.

Mask and vaccine mandates are required in covered city locations as the number of COVID cases continues to rise due to the dangerously contagious Delta variant.

Mask and vaccine mandates are required in covered city locations as the number of COVID cases continues to rise due to the dangerously contagious Delta variant.

“Given the continued evolution of the Delta variant and consistent with our intent to put the health and safety of our fans first, the USTA will extend the mayor’s requirement to all US Open cardholders aged 12 and older,” is stated in the statement. continued.

The decision came an hour after THE CITY published a story highlighting the frustration of local politicians, ticket holders and park neighbors over the US Tennis Association’s past policy of not requiring vaccine cards, masks or tests for attendees.

In a tweet accompanying the statement, Mayor de Blasio thanked the USTA for “putting the health and safety of New Yorkers first.”

“The @USOPEN is an iconic event in New York City and we are proud to welcome it back vaccinated!” read the mayor’s tweet.

Cardholders were immediately annoyed by the rapid policy change, in addition to the long lines, who expressed their annoyance via social media.

“Why haven’t you announced refund options for people who can’t provide vaccination cards? You cannot change the rules at the last minute or offer a refund. I don’t want to go through my credit card company, but if I have to I will,” one user wrote.

Huge queues outside the gates on day one of the US Open. It is clearly a logistical challenge for the organizers that proof of vaccination was mandated by the local authorities less than 72 hours before the start of the tournament,” another wrote.

Under New York City’s state and federal COVID-19 rules, proof of vaccination is not required at outdoor locations in the city.

Tennis fans show their vaccination certificate against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as they enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament

Tennis fans show their vaccination certificate against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as they enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament

Tennis fans show their vaccination certificate against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as they enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament

Spectators make their way through the grounds on day one of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York

Spectators make their way through the grounds on day one of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York

Spectators make their way through the grounds on day one of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York

Tennis fans show their vaccination certificate to participate in the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Monday, August 30, 2021 in New York

Tennis fans show their vaccination certificate to participate in the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Monday, August 30, 2021 in New York

Tennis fans show their vaccination certificate to participate in the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Monday, August 30, 2021 in New York

Fans return to Ashe Stadium on day one of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York

Fans return to Ashe Stadium on day one of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York

Fans return to Ashe Stadium on day one of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York

However, mask and vaccine mandates are required at covered locations in the city as the number of COVID cases continues to rise due to the dangerously contagious Delta variant.

Speaking to THE CITY, Queens Borough president, Donovan Richards, said he was “outraged” by the US Open’s initial vaccination policy.

Queens has been the epicenter of the epicenter as Corona is one of the worst affected neighborhoods. Spectators should feel safe watching tennis matches, not for fear of COVID-19. Organizers of the US Open should review the policy immediately,” Richards told the publication on Friday.

Richards said he was ‘happy’ after the US Open announced his vaccine need.

Tennis fans, who must show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), line up to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York

Tennis fans, who must show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), line up to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York

Tennis fans, who must show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), line up to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York

The USTA argued in a statement that the main cause of long queues is searching through bags, not checking vaccination records.

The USTA argued in a statement that the main cause of long queues is searching through bags, not checking vaccination records.

The USTA argued in a statement that the main cause of long queues is searching through bags, not checking vaccination records.

On Friday, the mayor of New York ordered the US Open to require a vaccination certificate for all participants in the country's largest tennis tournament at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

On Friday, the mayor of New York ordered the US Open to require a vaccination certificate for all participants in the country's largest tennis tournament at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

On Friday, the mayor of New York ordered the US Open to require a vaccination certificate for all participants in the country’s largest tennis tournament at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.

“I’m glad they reversed the decision, it was the right thing to do and we appreciate the US Open.

Richards added that he would also like to see other major sports stadiums require a vaccination certificate: ‘We can’t be hypocritical here, there should be one standard for everyone.’

The event was played without spectators in 2020 due to the pandemic, but will be running at full throttle this year.

The USTA argued in a statement that the main cause of long lines was bag searches, not checking vaccination records.

According to the statement, customers brought an “excessive number of bags” this year and all had to be searched.

The USTA said it is exploring ways to improve the entry process for the remainder of the tournament.

The organization added that the process of checking the vaccination certificate – a requirement for entry – “went smoothly.”

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