While COVID-19 testing will be a condition of competition when the PGA Tour resumes next week, at-home tests before travelling to a tournament are “strongly encouraged” but not required, according to a participant resource guide issued on Monday.
FILE PHOTO: May 12, 2020; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; PGA golfer Kirk Triplett plays his second shot on the 10th hole during round one at the Scottsdale AZ Open at Talking Stick Golf Club's OÕodham course. This is the first semi-significant sports event to take place in the Valley since the sports shutdown in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Rob SchumacherThe 34-page guide obtained by Reuters states players and caddies must begin self-screening for seven days prior to tournament travel.
The self-screening process includes a daily questionnaire and temperature readings. Any participant who tests positive at a tournament will only receive a stipend from the PGA Tour if they took an at-home test before travelling and tested negative.
“Without a vaccine, we know that we cannot mitigate all risk whether at work or in our daily lives. However, the plan we are implementing is designed to reduce the risk as much as possible,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in the guide.
“We all look forward to a return to normalcy, and that day will come. In the meantime, we ask that you embrace the necessary measures outlined in this document for the safety of everyone in our PGA Tour family.”
The PGA Tour, which has been dormant since March 12, returns to action next week at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The world’s top five golfers headlines a stacked field at the June 11-14 tournament that will be closed to spectators.
Upon arriving in a tournament host city, players and caddies must proceed to the testing site to receive a nasal swab test and thermal screening.
The PGA Tour said it hopes to provide results in a matter of hours and players will have access to practice areas while they await their result.
Once a negative test result is received, players will be issued a wristband or lanyard that grants them access to the locker room and clubhouse.
Those who test positive will be quarantined while a “disinfecting/decontaminating response” is implemented to ensure all possible items and surfaces touched by the infected individual are quickly cleaned.
If a participant is denied access to a tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test, they must receive medical clearance from their doctor before being allowed to participate in future PGA Tour events.
The participant resource guide also says players and caddies must have social distancing requirements in the forefront of their minds, always staying at least six feet away from others, whenever possible.
“This plan cannot be successful unless each of you commits to following the guidelines set forth,” said Monahan.
“It starts with taking the proper safety precautions at home, such as social distancing and proper hygiene, and then carrying those forward into your return to competition.”