Australian Open for unvaccinated athletes in question as lawmakers disagree
The status of unvaccinated players in open from Australia in January took another turn this week as local state officials in Victoria – where the Grand Slam will take place – disagree with government officials about exemptions.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told local media on Wednesday that unvaccinated players would be allowed into the country, whose borders have been virtually sealed in the past 18 months, for special reasons and which include events like the Australian Open.
AUSTRALIA OPEN TO ALLOW UNVACCINATED PLAYERS, DESPITE RETURN OF OFFICIALS: REPORT
“We want major events in this country. Lots of jobs depend on it. We want Australia to show the world that we are open,” Morrison said, via PAA. “If there is a special exemption that is justified for an economic reason … it can happen but you have to follow the sanitary rules in this state.”
The rule Morrison is referring to is a two week quarantine.
According to a leaked email from Australia Tennis to the WTA, the sport’s governing body in Australia said this week that unvaccinated players would be allowed to participate after undergoing a “two-week hard quarantine”.
“We feel the need to contact you all to clarify the false and misleading information that has recently been released by other parties about the conditions players will be forced to endure at next year’s Australian Open.” , we read in the e-mail.
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The email follows public statements by Alex Hawke, Australian Minister for Immigration, who said last week that participants will need both doses of the vaccine to be eligible – a measure that applies to any person trying to enter the country and Daniel Andrews, Premier of the State of Victoria, who said he believes unvaccinated players are unlikely to be granted visas.
Andrews doubled down on Wednesday by saying Victoria would not seek an exemption to allow unvaccinated athletes to enter.
“On behalf of every vaccinated Victorian who did the right thing, my government will not ask for an exemption for an unvaccinated player,” he said, via Reuters. “If we don’t ask for an exemption then no exemption will be granted and then the whole problem is fundamentally solved.”
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The status quo between state officials and government could prove costly.
The tournament’s most successful player, Novak Djokovic, has not confirmed his vaccination status or whether he will even participate in the event, which he has won nine times, a record.
I will not disclose my status whether or not I have been vaccinated, this is a private matter and an inappropriate investigation, “he said at the time.” People are going too far these days in taking the liberty of asking questions and judging a person. Whatever you say – “Yes, no, maybe, I think about it” – they will take advantage. “