LA QUINTA, Calif. – As the nation welcomed a new administration into the White House this week, the PGA Tour is bracing for increased international travel restrictions for players and caddies.
In a memo sent to players, the Tour outlines an executive order signed on Friday by President Joe Biden “that may affect travelers coming from international locations.” The order requests some agencies create guidelines to implement the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations on self-quarantine/isolation upon entry into the United States.
The current CDC guidelines recommend those traveling to the U.S. to “stay home” for seven days if they are given a COVID-19 test within three to five days of arrival.
“The executive order does not state with specificity when this determination by the government agencies will be made, but states it should be done promptly,” the memo reads.
The memo also informs players that starting next week those traveling to the U.S. will be required to provide a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of boarding their flight.
Last July the White House announced international players and caddies would be allowed to travel and compete in the U.S. without delay because there were considered “essential personnel.” These players and caddies were exempt from the 14-day quarantine period that was in place because they were subject to the circuit’s “COVID-19 testing and screening through the Tour's rigorous health and safety protocols.”
That waiver had become an essential part of travel for many international players like Rory McIlroy who plans to leave Abu Dhabi, where he is leading the European Tour event, on Sunday and travel to southern California to play next week’s Farmers Insurance Open.