No unvaccinated players at Australian Open, says Victorian state prime minister

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MELBOURNE – Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said his government will not apply for travel permits to allow unvaccinated tennis players to compete in the Australian Open in the state after Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated they would be allowed to enter. to the country.


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Morrison said earlier Wednesday that unvaccinated players could compete in the Grand Slam after undergoing a two-week COVID-19 quarantine, provided Victoria, which hosts the tournament in Melbourne, requests permits for them.

Andrews said his state would not make such requests.

“On behalf of all vaccinated Victorians who have done the right thing, my government will not request an exemption for any unvaccinated player,” he told reporters.

“If we don’t request an exemption, then no exemption will be granted and then the whole problem will be basically solved.”

Australia’s borders have been effectively sealed for 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although authorities approve travel waivers for special cases.


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Victoria has been Australia’s worst hit state, with its capital Melbourne blocked six times. The sixth lockdown ended on Friday, but only for fully vaccinated adults.

Unvaccinated adults remain banned from pubs, restaurants, sporting events and other parts of the economy, and may be excluded well into 2022.

Victoria’s position is a serious blow to the organizers of Grand Slam Tennis Australia, who want a strong field for the January tournament.

Some of the best players, including defending champion Novak Djokovic, have refused to reveal their vaccination status. The world number one from Serbia said last week that he might not play in the tournament.

Morrison had previously told Seven Network that unvaccinated players would need to be quarantined for two weeks.


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“All the same rules should apply to everyone,” he said.

“Whether it’s a Grand Slam winner, a prime minister or a business traveler, a student or whoever. The same rules. “

Morrison’s comments contradicted those of his immigration minister, Alex Hawke, who said last week that tennis players and other athletes would have to be vaccinated twice to enter the country.

Professional athletes in Victoria are under a vaccination mandate, which also covers coaches, officials, the media and other personnel involved in elite competition.

Andrews said tennis players must meet the same standards as everyone else at the event.

“I’m not going to demand that the people sitting in the stands, the people who work at the event, get vaccinated while the players are not,” he said.

Currently, about 70% of the top 100 tennis players, men and women, are vaccinated.

If Djokovic plays at Melbourne Park, he will be the favorite to win a record 21 men’s Grand Slam singles titles, pulling him out of a draw with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.



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