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Saturday, May 23, 2020, 16:33
US to exempt foreign athletes from virus-related entry bans
By Reuters
Saturday, May 23, 2020, 16:33 By Reuters

In this March 5, 2020 file photo, acting Homeland Security Security Chad Wolf meets the press in Washington,DC. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

WASHINGTON — The United States will exempt some foreign athletes who compete in professional sporting events in the United States from entry bans imposed because of the novel coronavirus epidemic, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said on Friday.

President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing to reopen the US economy after drastic measures to combat the pandemic this year put tens of millions of people out of work

“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,” Wolf said in a statement issued by the department announcing he had signed an order for the exemption.

President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing to reopen the US economy after drastic measures to combat the pandemic this year put tens of millions of people out of work.

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Major US professional sports were shut down as part of the effort to tackle COVID-19, the respiratory disease cause by the coronavirus which has killed more than 94,000 people and infected 1.57 million in the United States.

Besides the athletes, the exemption applies to the sporting leagues’ essential staff, spouses and dependents, the statement said.

READ MORE: Travel ban on European visitors hits US airlines 'extremely hard'

The sports covered by the exemption include Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the National Hockey League, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Women’s Tennis Association.

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