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Under-12s barred from 2021 Indian Wells amid new Covid rules

The BNP Paribas Open returns to the tennis calendar this month, and has a new set of Covid-related restrictions – one of which is surprising

Indian Wells March 13, 2019 – Los Angeles, California, U.S – A view of the main stadium for the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 in Indian Wells, California. (Panoramic)

The BNP Paribas Open has announced its Covid regulations for this year’s tournament – and one in particular has taken some observers by surprise.

Children under 12 will not be allowed into Indian Wells as spectators. All other fans must show proof of full vaccination.

“Our goal is to provide the safest environment possible, and make every patron on-site feel secure and comfortable during their time in Tennis Paradise,” says the tournament’s website.

This rule has already triggered some outrage – notably from Australian player Ellen Perez, who shared a screenshot setting out the regulations allowing access to the complex for children of players.

“There’s no greater feeling then playing in front of kids,” she wrote on Twitter. “Our job is to inspire them and make them want to get active or dare to dream.”

At many other tournaments, children are exempt from Covid restrictions and thus allowed entry.

The San Diego Open – also in California, but in a different county – is requiring mask wearing indoors and on public transportation, and recommending social distancing. Their official website makes no mention of any vaccination requirements.

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