Tennis players who have declined a covid jab will be allowed to play in next year’s Australian Open, but they face a nightmare of two weeks quarantine and round the clock testing.
According to the BBC:
Australian ministers had said players without jabs would not be able to enter the country for the tournament. But the WTA players’ council says it has been told all competitors will be able to go to Melbourne in January.
It said Tennis Australia thought entry rules would “improve significantly.” Last week, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said he did not think an unvaccinated tennis player would be given a visa to enter Australia.
A significant number of tennis players – including 35% of those on the men’s ATP Tour – remain unvaccinated. Novak Djokovic, the men’s world number one and nine-time Australian Open champion, said last week he did not want to reveal his vaccination status.
Djokovic had said that he was in the dark as to whether or not he would be allowed to participate.
The letter issued to the players says that fully vaccinated players would need a test within 24 hours of arrival.
Vaccinated players will have:
- no requirement to quarantine or stay in a bubble
- no ongoing restrictions imposed on them
- complete freedom of movement
Unvaccinated players will be required to:
- go through mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days on arrival
- take part in regular testing
I think they’ve bottled it…kind of. Djokovic isn’t just any athlete. He has a global profile and is currently the world’s best player. I think they really wanted to make having a jab as a condition of playing, but denying Novak entry would have caused some stink.
If the unjabbed players were outside the top 32, I think they’d have mandated it.
Who knows? Maybe Djokovic won’t travel anyway. Who’d want to be locked in a hotel for 2 weeks upon arrival? Not me.