Lee Westwood has second thoughts about travelling to US
The country lifts restrictions for professional golfers, but former world No 1 says it is still a hotspot for Covid-19
Los Angeles — The US has scrapped its 14-day quarantine for overseas PGA Tour golfers, but that is not enough to convince former world No 1 Lee Westwood to get on an aeroplane and fly to the US.
The US federal government decided on Friday that professional golfers no longer need to quarantine for two weeks, because the USPGA Tour has put in place numerous safety and health measures, such as regular testing for the coronavirus.
The lifting of the restrictions opens the door for travelling non-Americans to enter the first Major championship of 2020 in San Francisco on August 6 and this week’s WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Tennessee.
But the attraction of playing in a Major is not enough to sway Westwood, who said he is worried about the way the US is handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I don’t feel it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours,” the 34-year-old Westwood told reporters at the British Masters. “I’m still concerned that the US doesn’t take it [the virus] as seriously as the rest of the world. It still seems to be one of the hot spots for outbreaks.”
The policy change also affects incoming caddies and other essential golf personnel entering the US. The players were notified on Friday in an e-mail.
Westwood said he suffers from athletic-induced asthma. “I’m slightly asthmatic. If I tested [positive] in Memphis I would have to stay there for two weeks. Right now there are too many ifs.”
The US leads the world in Covid-19 cases with 4.18-million and deaths at more than 146,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. Memphis has had 265 deaths and almost 18,000 cases, while San Francisco has had about 50 deaths and more than 5,700 cases.
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