Novak Djokovic needs to be fully vaccinated for covid-19, to be able to play Australian Open. The minister of Australian immigration said in a statement that the tennis star will not be able to travel to Australia until he is fully vaccinated.
The World # 1 tennis star, who is level with Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, has refused to share his vaccination status. He further added that he is not sure if he will defend his Australian Open title or not.
The Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke made it clear that foreign players need 2 vaccination shots to play the mega event in Melbourne Park. This is the requirement for entering Australia.
“You’ll need to be double vaccinated to visit Australia. That’s a universal application, not just to tennis players. I mean that every visitor to Australia will need to be double vaccinated,” Hawke told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
The rule is not just for Djokovic alone. It is for everyone who wishes to visit Australia. Some media reports reveal that more than a third of players are unvaccinated.
The men’s ATP and women’s WTA tours have told players to get vaccinated as soon as possible but some players have raised reservations over the issue. Russian US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and German World # 4 Alex Zverev have expressed skepticism. Greek World # 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas said that he will get vaccinated only if it is mandatory.
The authorities stated that Tennis Australia is working on defining conditions for players, visitors, and official staff. Details of international visitors entering Australia are not yet decided and we are hoping for some good news.
Protection of Australia is first priority
Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt said that the rule is for everyone and in the best interest of Australia. The main aim is to protect Australia from Covid-19. This applies to every individual, no matter how much he is a big personality.
Australia has closed its borders for non-citizens and non-residents for 18 months. A non-citizen is expected to be allowed in early 2022.
The high authorities of Victoria state, who are hosting the mega event, said that no special deals will be offered to any unvaccinated athlete. This strict move is taken because Melbourne has been locked down after the outbreak of covid-19 in august.