2022 Covid Australian Open Rules: Multi-Step Review for Players Seeking Medical Exemption
Tennis players who wish to dodge the Covid-19 vaccination and receive a medical waiver to participate in the Australian Open now know the process to follow.
Any tennis star bound for the Australian Open seeking to be exempted from the Covid-19 vaccination will have to convince two separate panels of medical experts.
The Victoria Department of Health and Tennis Australia finalized their protocols around the virus on Thursday after debate in recent weeks.
Premier Dan Andrews proposed last week that TA get involved in the review process if tennis players seek to bypass the vaccination process and receive an exemption.
Instead, an expert panel of physicians from the fields of immunology, infectious disease, and general medicine will first review requests for medical exemptions.
Applications that meet the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) national guidelines will then be subject to a second review.
A government-appointed panel of medical experts, the Independent Medical Exemptions Review Panel, will oversee this review.
If the second panel finds the medical exemption appropriate and in accordance with ATAGI guidelines, it will be submitted to the Australian Immunization Registry.
Personal information will be redacted to ensure the confidentiality of all applicants.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said the multi-step review process was designed to keep everyone safe at the event.
Players, staff and fans will need to be fully immunized, unless there is a valid reason for exemption.
“We have worked closely with the Victorian government to establish fair and independent protocols for assessing medical exemption requests that will allow us to ensure that the 2022 Australian Open is safe and enjoyable for everyone,” Tiley said.
âAt the heart of this process, decisions will be made by independent medical experts and each candidate will be given due consideration. “
Tourism and Major Events Minister Martin Pakula said the Victorian government had worked closely with Tennis Australia to establish the exemptions review process.
âI am very happy that there is a rigorous process around the review of any medical exemption for the Australian Open,â said Pakula.
Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Australian teenager Olivia Gadecki – who was a strong wildcard contender – have pulled out of the Australian Open because neither wants to be vaccinated.