The PGA Tour is doubling down on its support of the COVID-19 vaccines.
A week after the Tour sent an email to its players indicating that those who are fully vaccinated will not have to take a COVID-19 test before entering an event, they followed up with a memo on Monday morning that strongly encouraged players and caddies to get the vaccine “as soon as eligible.”
From the memo, obtained by Golfweek: “While we encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, the Tour endeavors to make vaccine as accessible as possible once supply becomes available for private allocation.”
Included in the memo were “vaccine considerations” to prove the safety of the shots, as well as new protocols for fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals.
The considerations explained how the vaccines went through clinical trials for safety and noted that 700 million people worldwide have been vaccinated with “very few significant side effects reported.”
“There are common misconceptions and concerns about infertility, altering DNA, microchipping, becoming infected with COVID as a result of the COVID 19 vaccine,” the memo read. “These misconceptions and concerns are false.”
While the Tour won’t mandate its players get the vaccine, those without the shots will have a more difficult time preparing for tournament play.
The Tour’s onsite testing operations will discontinue at the end of June. Come July, “any individual seeking to participate in a Tour-affiliated event will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test at their own expense within 72 hours of arrival onsite.”
Proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arriving for a tournament will be mandatory for players, caddies and anyone else in the tournament bubble.
Whether an individual has the vaccine or not, the use of face coverings and social distancing is still required in accordance with the PGA Tour’s Health and Safety Program.