The United States Government have introduced new measures which will loosen Covid restrictions on quarantine and social distancing. And Novak Djokovic’s chances of playing in the US Open have been given a boost by the fact the US are showing they are open to changing their rules. But Djokovic still cannot currently play the US Open and admitted after his win at Wimbledon that he didn’t feel confident about his chances of playing in the final Major of the year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have however announced that they would be relaxing regulations surrounding entry requirements and quarantine. These changes are currently related to US citizens only.
That means Djokovic currently still will not be travelling to New York for the tournament unless he receives a special exemption – but it hints that more could follow before the final Grand Slam of the season starts on August 29 to allow him to play. The US travel restrictions in place right now will prevent Djokovic from travelling to the country as foreigners who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are not allowed to enter America.
New guidance relaxing some rules regarding social distancing and quarantine has now been issued by the CDC. The statement read: “This updated guidance is intended to apply to community settings. In the coming weeks, CDC will work to align stand-alone guidance documents, such as those for healthcare settings, congregate settings at higher risk of transmission, and travel, with today’s update.”
The document also stated that “unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people”. But 21-time Grand Slam winner is set to miss the tournament in New York as he maintains his resistance against having the coronavirus vaccine. The 34-year-old is yet to have any doses of the jab, although he did contract the virus in 2021 before making a full recovery.
Djokovic has already missed out on participating in tournaments in North America across Montreal and Cincinnati in the lead-up to the US Open. And he now risks being absent for the Major due to his vaccination status. A new package of loosening measures related to quarantine and social distancing recommendations was released by the US government this week. The new measures allow unvaccinated Americans to skip quarantine after being exposed to the virus.
The new rules also include more leniency on quarantine, with people only required to wear masks for 10 days and to be tested on the fifth day after they show symptoms. However, while unvaccinated Americans can move freely to and from the nation under the changes, the same does not apply for foreign nationals. And that means Djokovic would still be barred from entering the US to participate in the US Open.
The Wimbledon champion has made no secret about his reluctance to be vaccinated and his decision has had an adverse effect on his tennis career. The Serbian was deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year after his visa documentation was deemed to be incorrect.
Djokovic has been continuing to train as normal in preparation for the tournament in the hope he will be able to play. He won Wimbledon in July and recently featured in an exhibition tournament in Bosnia.
But it seems he will be left at home and will therefore have to wait for the chance to level with Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Slams. Likewise, it remains possible that Nadal will fail to recover in time from an abdominal injury, meaning the ‘Big Three’ would be absent from the tournament for the first time since.
Djokovic did play at the US Open last year only to suffer defeat in the final at the hands of Daniil Medvedev, now ranked as the world No 1 in men’s tennis. But the three-time winner of the competition, who last triumphed at Flushing Meadows in 2018, now looks likely to be denied the chance to add to his titles.