PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian badminton entourage can expect to travel with ease for the back-to-back Swiss and German Opens in March.
The Swiss Open, which will be held in Basel from March 2-7, will serve not only as the World Tour season-opener but also mark the restart of the Olympics qualifications.
The German Open will take place the following week in Mulheim from March 9-14.
According to the Swiss Open prospectus, the meet will be conducted in a bubble environment and behind closed doors, similar to the ongoing Asian leg in Thailand.
But it will be more relaxed than what the players have experienced in Bangkok as players and officials, except from “high risk” countries, are exempted from the mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival.
Fortunately, Malaysia is not among these nations in the latest list released on Jan 22.
Participants are required to produce a pre-arrival negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate. Two further tests will be carried out – one on arrival and another during the third day of the tournament.
“Upon arrival, they are not permitted to leave their hotel rooms until a negative result has been obtained (up to 24 hours), ” the Swiss Open prospectus stated.
“On Friday, March 5, they will be tested again to ensure the Green Zone is continuously free from infection. Players do not need to undergo quarantine whilst waiting for the results.”
The German Open, too, will also be held under a similar health and safety protocol.
Both these events were cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are among the remaining Olympic qualifiers that include the Malaysian Open (March 31-April 5), Singapore Open (April 13-18), the continental championships of Asia and Europe (April 27-May 2) and the Indian Open (May 11-16).
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