New York City officials laid down the law to the US Open on Friday, ordering that only ticketholders showing proof of COVID vaccinations be allowed through the gates at the upcoming Grand Slam.

The decree puts paid to tournament plans to allow anyone in amid a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US – the world’s worst affected country.

Tournament officials performed a PR rollback with two days left before the Monday start of play.

‘Given the continuing evolution of the Delta variant and in keeping with our intention to put the health and safety of our fans first, the USTA will extend the Mayor’s requirement to all US Open ticket holders 12-years-old and older,” a statement read.

“Any US Open attendee with tickets to Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, The Grandstand, or the grounds of the US Open, will be required to provide proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.”

With no national vaccine system in the US and almost nothing lodged electronically as in most of Western Europe  – it’s every state and city for itself – enforcement may get tricky.

The tournament spelled out what documents will serve as acceptable proof: a US CDC Vaccination Card or photocopy or an official immunization record from within or outside the US to be displayed either on paper or in a mobile phone.

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