Ticketholders are incensed by hour-long waits to get into U.S Open in New York after de Blasio changed rules on vaccination with just three days notice and people without shots are forced to stay home

 Tennis fans were left confused and irritated Monday over hour-long delays to enter the first day of U.S. Open as ticketholders scrambled to produce proof of vaccination after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio suddenly reversed rules to attend the tournament. 

On Friday, New York's mayor ordered the U.S. Open to require proof of vaccination for all attendees at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. 

The decision caused a backup at the Queens complex and sparked outrage from many who did not have proof of vaccination or have not gotten the shot. 

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

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

'Why have you not announced refund options for people who cannot provide vaccination cards? You can’t just change the rules last minute and not offer refunds. I don’t want to go through my credit card company but I will if I have to,' said a Twitter user with the handle TennisLocks.

In statement released Friday, the USTA said: 'Today, the USTA was informed that the New York City Mayor's office will be mandating proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entrance to Arthur Ashe Stadium during the U.S. Open.'

Tennis fans, who are required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) stand in a long line to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 U.S. Open tournament

Tennis fans, who are required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) stand in a long line to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 U.S. Open tournament 

Mask and vaccine mandates are required at indoor venues throughout the city as COVID cases continue to soar as a result of the dangerously infectious Delta variant.

Mask and vaccine mandates are required at indoor venues throughout the city as COVID cases continue to soar as a result of the dangerously infectious Delta variant.

'Given the continuing evolution of 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-oldand older,' the statement continued. 

The decision came an hour after THE CITY published a story highlighting frustration from local politicians, ticket holders and park neighbors over the U.S. Tennis Association's earlier 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 New York City event and we're proud to welcome it back, vaccinated!' the Mayor's tweet read.

Ticket holders were immediately annoyed with the swift change of policy, in addition to the long lines, taking to social media to voice their irritation. 

'Why have you not announced refund options for people who cannot provide vaccination cards? You can’t just change the rules last minute and not offer refunds. I don’t want to go through my credit card company but I will if I have to,' wrote one user.  

'Huge queues outside the gates on day one of the US Open. Clearly a logistical challenge for organisers that the proof of vaccination requirement was mandated by local authorities less than 72 hours before the start of the tournament,' wrote another. 

Under New York City state and federal COVID-19 rules, vaccination proof is not required at outdoor venues throughout the city. 

Tennis fans show their proof of vaccination 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 U.S. Open tennis tournament

Tennis fans show their proof of vaccination 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 U.S. Open tennis tournament

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

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

Tennis fans show their proof of vaccination cards for entry to attend the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in New York

Tennis fans show their proof of vaccination cards for entry to attend the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in New York

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

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

However, mask and vaccine mandates are required at indoor venues throughout the city as COVID cases continue to soar as a result of the dangerously infectious Delta variant.   

When speaking with THE CITY, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said he was 'outraged' at the U.S. Open's initial vaccination policy. 

'Queens has been of the epicenter of the epicenter, as Corona is one of the hardest hit neighborhoods. Spectators should feel safe when they watch tennis matches, not in fear of COVID-19. Organizers of the U.S. Open should immediately revise the policy,' Richards told the publication Friday.  

Richards said he was 'glad' after the U.S Open announced its vaccine requirement.

Tennis fans, who are required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stand in a long line to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York

Tennis fans, who are required to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stand in a long line to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie King National Tennis Center on the first day of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York

The USTA argued in a statement that the main cause of long lines has been bag searches, and not the checking of vaccination proof

The USTA argued in a statement that the main cause of long lines has been bag searches, and not the checking of vaccination proof

On Friday, New York's Mayor ordered the U.S. Open to require proof of vaccination for all attendees of the nation's largest tennis tournament at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens

On Friday, New York's Mayor ordered the U.S. Open to require proof of vaccination for all attendees of the nation'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 value the U.S. Open.

Richards added he would also like to see other major sports stadiums require proof of vaccination: 'We can't be hypocritical here, there should be one standard for everyone.'  

The event was played without spectators in 2020 because of the pandemic, but will be at full capacity this year. 

The USTA argued in a statement that the main cause of long lines has been bag searches, and not the checking of vaccination proof. 

The statement said patrons have brought an 'inordinate number of bags this year' and all needed 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 vaccination proof - a requirement for entry - 'was going smoothly.'

Ticketholders are incensed by hour-long waits to get into U.S Open in New York after de Blasio changed rules on vaccination with just three days notice and people without shots are forced to stay home Ticketholders are incensed by hour-long waits to get into U.S Open in New York after de Blasio changed rules on vaccination with just three days notice and people without shots are forced to stay home Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:38 Rating: 5

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