Government reiterates no visas for unvaccinated Australian Open players
Sydney, Australia, Oct 27 (EFE).- The state government of Victoria, which hosts the Australian Open in Melbourne, reiterated Wednesday it will not make exemptions to allow entry of unvaccinated tennis players for the year’s first Grand Slam.
“Our health advice is that when we open the borders, everyone that comes to Australia will have to be double vaccinated … that’s a universal application, not just to tennis players,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said before the media.
Last week, Andrews had first warned that athletes who wanted to participate in the tournament would need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Reigning Australian Open champion and world number 1 Novak Djokovic is among those players yet to make public their vaccination status.
After closing its borders in March 2020, Australia plans to progressively reopen them from Nov.1, having vaccinated 80 percent of its target population.
The country’s plan for resumption of normalcy favors those who have been fully vaccinated.
Earlier this year, participants at the Australian Open had to undergo quarantine and live in strict bubbles during the tournament.
Prior to Andrews’ statements, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison considered that tennis players not fully vaccinated may apply for an entry exemption under the federal laws, but would need to comply with regulations that govern Victoria.
During the pandemic, Australia has canceled numerous sporting events such as the Formula One Grand Prix and MotoGP, as well as rugby, golf and popular horse racing tournaments.
The Oceanic country, which is striving to vaccinate most of its population before reopening its borders, has already begun to allow spectators at sporting events but with limited capacity. EFE