Simona Halep’s appearance at the WTA event in Palermo next month is in doubt after Italy imposed a mandatory quarantine of 14 days for people coming from Romania and Bulgaria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Friday people who have been in Romania and Bulgaria in the past 14 days would be quarantined on arrival.

Tournament director Oliviero Palma said he has written to the government for an exemption and hopes the protocols being put in place will be sufficient to satisfy the government.

“The provision would penalise a player like Simona Halep, the world number two and Wimbledon’s reigning champion, who wouldn’t take part in Palermo’s tournament anymore,” he said.

“We’re convinced the health protocols adopted by the WTA are so strict to guarantee the safety and health not only of athletes, but also of all the various workers involved in the event.

“I’m convinced that there are all the necessary conditions and guarantees to give a derogation for all tennis players coming from Romania or Bulgaria, in order to avoid their quarantine and, hence, their retirement from the tournament”.

Palermo is scheduled to be the first professional tennis event when the WTA Tour returns next month.

Other players scheduled to take part in the event include Johanna Konta and 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova.

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