The COVID-19 travel restriction enacted by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week could imperil three Bassmaster Elite Series events and one Bassmaster Open scheduled to take place in that state in July and August.
The restriction calls for people entering New York from eight states currently hit hardest by the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Nearly half of the Elite Series roster (40 anglers) hails from one of those states – Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina or Texas. Utah is also on the list, but that state isn't home to any tour-level competitors.
Of the current top 25 in the Angler of the Year race, only seven competitors are from non-quarantine states.
B.A.S.S. notified Elite anglers of the restriction by email on Wednesday. The email said that B.A.S.S. is working with the various tournament host organizations in the state to obtain more information and that anglers would be updated as quickly as possible.
The B.A.S.S. communications department issued the following statement to BassFan today:
"B.A.S.S. is working alongside our local hosts in New York to determine how the governor’s quarantine declaration may impact our anglers and tournaments. We eagerly anticipate the state’s guidelines on reopening and events for professional sports leagues, which should be released in the coming days. Our team has already created new protocols to enforce proper distancing and reduce the spread of germs, but recognize that each tournament location we travel to will likely have a separate set of mandates and guidelines that we will gladly adhere to for safety."
Elite Series events scheduled to take place in New York this summer are at Cayuga Lake (July 14-17), the St. Lawrence River (July 23-26) and Lake Champlain (July 30-Aug. 2). An Open event is set for Aug. 6-8 at Oneida Lake.
Earlier this month, Major League Fishing moved its final Bass Pro Tour regular-season event, set for July 10-15, from Champlain to Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin due to a similar restriction in place in Vermont. Champlain sits on the New York-Vermont border.