Good news came late last week for PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players based outside the United States.
They will no longer to restricted from traveling into the country.
An order was signed last Friday by acting Secretary of Homeland Security — Chad Wolf — that allows certain professional athletes from the U.K. and other European countries along with China to travel into the United States.
“Professional sporting events provide much needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity,” Wolf wrote. “In today’s environment, Americans need their sports. It’s time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work.”
The sports leagues mentioned in the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement included the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, which each have a significant number of members who reside outside of the U.S. The exception also includes the various leagues’ essential staff, leadership and dependents, as well as athletes’ family members.
The department will work with the leagues to identify those eligible for the exception. However, the order does not exempt those individuals from inspection by Customs and Border Protection or any other agency requirements.
It won’t matter much to Lee Westwood, who already said he’ll be passing on the PGA Championship. Main reason is that all those athletes who do seek re-entry into the U.S., will still be required to quarantine for two weeks.
The PGA Tour resumes in just 17 days at Colonial Country Club and foreign members of the tour would already have to be back in the U.S.
Westwood previous said he’d have to come over, quarantine for two week and then when he went home to host the British Masters, would have to quarantine for another two weeks in the U.K. He’d lose the equivalent of a month just isolating. Tommy Fleetwood has taken the same stance.
The NHL has a number of foreign players, the NBA, not as many.
The NBA is contemplating staging its season at the ESPN Sports Complex at DisneyWorld in Orlando, the NHL is formulating a modified playoff schedule to determine a Stanley Cup winner.