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‘No vaccine, no visa’: State premier gives Australian Open update

Daniel Andrews has updated the media on the latest requirements for visitors to the state of Victoria – where the Australian Open is held

Australian Open Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 20, 2021 General view of fans in the arena during the final match between Japan’s Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady of the U.S. (Panoramic)

If players wish to compete in the Australian Open, they will most likely need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, says the premier of Victoria, the state in which the Grand Slam is held.

Daniel Andrews told the media: “I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country.

“If they did get a visa they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks.

“If I’m wrong I’m sure the federal government will let you know.

“[The virus] doesn’t care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you’ve won. It’s completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe.”

Djokovic: Vaccination is private

Victoria has a policy of compulsory vaccination for professional athletes – and Andrews’ comments are likely to be seen as directed at Novak Djokovic, the reigning champion in Melbourne, who has refused to be drawn on his vaccination status and will not commit to defending his title in 2022.

In an interview with Serbian publication Blic, the 20-time Grand Slam winner, said vaccination status is “a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry”.

As yet, it is unclear what the rules for international travel into and out of the country will be in January. International travel to and from Australia is resuming on November 1 for citizens and permanent residents, but there has been no decision about any other visa holders.

For the 2021 tournament, players flew directly from qualifying in Doha and Dubai to Melbourne, where they had to quarantine in a hotel for a fortnight. Players were permitted some access to training facilities, although those who came into contact with cases of Covid-19 en route were put under more stringent regulations.

That was, however, before the Covid-19 vaccine was available. Tennis Australia’s current plans are for players to live within a biosecure bubble rather than a strict hotel quarantine.

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