Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza issued quarantine orders for people coming into the country from Bulgaria and Romania on Friday, after an uptick in imported novel coronavirus cases.
Simona Halep has been assured she should be allowed to compete at the Palermo Open, after fears that new quarantine rules in Italy would rule her out.
This decision would penalize a player like Simona Halep, world number two and champion of the title at Wimbledon, who could not participate in the Palermo tournament, "said Oliviero Palma, tournament director, in statements collected by TennisWorld".
"Given the recent rise in Covid19 cases in Romania and my anxieties around global air travel at this time, I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Palermo", statedHalep "I want to thank the tournament director and the Italian ministry of health for all efforts on my behalf". "I want to thank the tournament director and the Italian ministry of health for all their efforts on my behalf and I wish the tournament a successful week".
"But nevertheless Halep's staff informed us when their decision was already taken".
"We're convinced that the health protocols adopted by the WTA are so strict to guarantee the safety and health not only of athletes, yet also of all the various workers involved in the event", Palma said.
Palermo, starting August 3, will be the first professional tennis event across the WTA and men's ATP Tours after a five-month break due to the health crisis. "We feel let down and deeply disappointed", he added.
Four other top-20 players remain entered: No. 14 Johanna Konta of Britain, No. 15 Petra Martic of Croatia, No. 18 Markéta Vondroušová of the Czech Republic and No. 20 Maria Sakkari of Greece.