France says Djokovic cannot compete at Roland Garros without vaccination

Paris, Jan 17 (EFE).- The French government has said that everyone at the Roland Garros tennis tournament later this year, including players, staff and spectators, will have to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

This announcement overnight by the authorities represents a change in stance 10 days after the government had indicated that world number one Novak Djokovic could be allowed participate in the French Open even if he was not vaccinated.

The announcement was made through a tweet by Sports Minister Roxana Maracinanu hours after the Parliament finally adopted the bill that will require people to carry a certificate of vaccination for many social activities, including sporting events.

However, on Jan.7, amid a legal dispute over Djokovic’s visa in Australia due to him not being vaccinated, Maracineanu had said that the Serbian could participate in Roland Garros, scheduled between late May and early June.

The French minister had said that France would grant an exception to compulsory vaccination rule to athletes in international competitions.

Djokovic was deported from Australia after his appeal against the cancellation of his visa – for not being vaccinated – was rejected by the federal court of the Oceanic country on Sunday, ending his hopes of defending his title at the year’s first Grand Slam.

On the other hand, in France, unlike Australia, it is not necessary to be fully vaccinated to enter the country as one can do so with a health passport that requires people to test negative for Covid-19 instead.

However, the law on vaccination certificates in France is due to enter into force at the end of this week as it is still pending before the Constitutional Council.

The new law will make the certificate mandatory for even a drink in a bar or in a restaurant, going to the movies, to a show or visiting a stadium, as well as the use of public transport for long distances. EFE


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