SAN DIEGO – U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order last week “that may affect travelers coming from international locations,” a PGA Tour memo that was sent to players read.
Specifically, the memo warned of possible changes to self-quarantine/isolation regulations for those entering the United States. Under the current standards, players, caddies and some officials are exempt from the quarantine rules as “essential personnel.” How a possible change to that exemption could impact players is obvious.
“I couldn’t do what I did this week and go straight from Abu Dhabi to here,” said Rory McIlroy, who played last week’s European Tour event in Abu Dhabi before traveling to Southern California for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.
For McIlroy this is a question of “common sense,” considering the protocols players and caddies must adhere to for both COVID-19 testing and social distancing on both the PGA Tour and European Tour.
“If I’m going from one bubble in Europe to basically entering another bubble here. I take a test, it’s negative, I don’t see why that should prohibit you from playing in a golf tournament,” he said. “I just think there’s so much more knowledge about the virus now than there was, say, 10 months ago. I would say that would be a little bit extreme to have to quarantine.”
Players were notified this week that their “essential personnel” classification remains unchanged, but the Tour “will continue to monitor and apprise any quarantine requirements.”