No special deals to allow unvaccinated players at Australian Open

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Djokovic, world number one at the level of 20 Grand Slam titles alongside Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, declined to reveal his vaccination status again this week, saying he was unsure whether he would defend his Australian Open crown. Will do as officials work for Covid-19 restrictions. Tournament.

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Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said he opposed special arrangements for unvaccinated athletes to compete in the state, which is scheduled to host the Grand Slam at Melbourne Park in January.

“On the question of vaccination, no,” he told a media briefing.


“(The virus) doesn’t care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you’ve won. It’s completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and others safe.”

Tennis Australia, which organizes the Grand Slam, declined to comment.

READ: New players’ union co-founded by Djokovic still divides opinion
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Victoria, which is due to exit a nearly three-month lockdown this week, recently added professional athletes to a vaccine mandate covering millions of “authorized workers”, without clarifying whether it would be from overseas or other Australian states. of athletes or not.

Andrews suggested that the mandate cover international athletes as well.

“Professional sport is part of those (on the item) authorized worker list and they have to be vaccinated with a double dose,” he said.

Andrews said Victoria’s stance may be a “mute point”, given that the federal government cannot issue visas to unvaccinated athletes.

“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come to this country and if they get a visa they will probably have to be in quarantine for a few weeks,” he said.

“I don’t think the person you’ve indicated to (Djokovic) or any other tennis player, don’t privatize … or the golfer or Formula One driver will even get a visa to come here.

“If I’m wrong I’m sure the federal government will tell you.”

The federal government’s Department of Home Affairs was not immediately able to provide comment.

Australia’s borders have been closed to non-residents due to the pandemic, although authorities have issued visas to athletes and sports staff for major events, including the last Australian Open in February.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would ease border controls for residents and their foreign-based family members from next month, but international tourists and other visa classes would have to wait longer. read more

Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, has been locked down since August as authorities scramble to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant. read more

Restrictions for the city’s 5 million people will be eased from Friday, when Victoria is expected to have 70% of the adult population fully vaccinated.

However, people without vaccination will be barred from sporting events along with restaurants, pubs and other parts of the economy.

Andrews said the ban on unvaccinated fans could go into effect through the 2022 Formula One Australian Grand Prix in April.

“It’s been here for a while…. we’re essentially not going to encourage people not to get vaccinated because they think they can wait a few months or a few weeks,” he said.

“You can’t wait for the coronavirus.”


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