The unvaccinated will still play at the Australian Open!



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The unvaccinated will still play at the Australian Open!

It seemed that the thing was over and that the condition for participation in the upcoming Australian Open would be confirmation of receiving two doses of the COVID vaccine, after two ministers in the Federal Government of Australia announced such a state policy.

However, only five days later, a confidential document leaked to the public, claiming the opposite, which Tennis Australia, as the organizer of the first Grand Slam of the season, sent to the Council of Professional Tennis Players, at the WTA.

According to the e-mail, which was forwarded by the WTA to the best players in the world, unvaccinated tennis players will be allowed to enter Australia and participate in the Australian Open, reports the AAP agency. The letter informs the Players' Council that the unvaccinated will have to spend 14 days in strict quarantine upon arrival, as was the case last year.

At the end of the letter, Tennis Australia also sent a request that this information is kept confidential until it is officially published by the Federal Government of Australia. Despite that, this official correspondence leaked to the media.

The news came as a surprise, as Australian Immigration and Health Ministers Alex Hawke and Greg Hunt said that the same rule would apply to male and female tennis players as to other foreign nationals and that those who were not fully vaccinated against COVID would not be able to enter Australia.

Such an announcement has called into question the participation of a large number of the best players, including the world's best tennis players - current Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic and last year's finalist Daniil Medvedev - who have publicly said they do not want to announce their vaccination status.

Confirmation

They previously expressed disagreement with the introduction of mandatory immunization in tennis. The news published by the agencies did not want to be confirmed by the Government of the State of Victoria. At this morning's press conference, the Minister of Sports of this Australian state, whose capital is Melbourne, said that it is not final yet and that it cannot be said with certainty that the unvaccinated will be able to play.

Victoria's Minister of Health, Martin Foley, was somewhat more conciliatory, saying that the government of this country does not give visas or control the border, but those competencies are within the competence of the Federal Government of Australia.

In any case, it will be interesting to see what the final epilogue of this public debate will be, which completely threw the end of the current tennis season into a coma. The official position of the Australian Government should be expected in the next two weeks, but it is hard to believe that Tennis Australia, as an umbrella organization that has been closely cooperating with the authorities since the beginning of the pandemic, would send such a notification to the tennis players' advice.

It should be noted that vaccination is not mandatory according to the regulations of both tennis associations: men's ATP and women's WTA.