Unvaccinated players will be allowed to compete at the Australian Open but must complete 14 days of hotel quarantine after arriving in the West Indies, according to a leaked email sent to WTA players.
The email from the women’s tennis governing body says fully vaccinated players will not have to quarantine themselves or remain in bubbles at all during the grand slam, which is due to take place in Melbourne in January.
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As revealed in the email, unvaccinated players “must undergo regular testing” while fully vaccinated stars “will have complete freedom of movement.”
The organizers of the Australian Open are said to be still in talks with the Victorian government and tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg said the rules spelled out in the players email could still change based on instructions from the government of the State or federal government.
The details sent to the players by the women’s tennis governing body come after firm comments from Australian politicians last week. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke confirmed on Wednesday that any sports star hoping to compete in Australia this summer should have received both doses of a TGA-approved vaccine.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said last Tuesday he did not believe unvaccinated tennis players would be granted visas to enter the country. If they did, he said they would be quarantined and vaccinated players would not.
“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player will get a visa to enter this country,” he told reporters.
“If they got a visa, they would probably have to be quarantined for a few weeks, when no other player would have to.
“I don’t think any other tennis player, golfer or Formula 1 driver will even get a visa to come here.
“The vaccine doesn’t care how you rank in tennis or how many Grand Slam tournaments you’ve won. Sorry, the virus doesn’t care.
“Professional sport is on this list of authorized workers and they must be vaccinated at a double dose. “
Novak Djokovic, the world’s highest ranked male player chasing his fourth straight Australian Open title and 10th overall, has spoken in the past about his anti-vax tendencies. He declined to disclose if he had been vaccinated against Covid-19, Serbian newspaper said Blic last week that it was a “private matter”.
“Things being as they are, I still don’t know if I will be going to Melbourne,” said Djokovic.
“I will not disclose my status whether or not I have been vaccinated, this is a private matter and an inappropriate investigation.
“Of course I want to go, Australia is my most successful Grand Slam tournament. I want to compete, I love the sport and I’m still motivated.
“I’m following the situation regarding the Australian Open… I think there will be a lot of restrictions like this year, but I doubt there are too many changes.”