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ATP inform players about travel in France: ‘Non-vaccinated players will be unable to compete’

The ATP sent a mail to the players telling them as from next Monday they should be vaccinated to compete in France – with no exception expected

Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic (Panoramic)

The ATP have told their members that as from next week, they will need to be vaccinated if they wish to compete in France.

In the body text of a message sent on Wednesday, the Quimper Challenger 80 – starting on January 24 – is mentioned as the starting point of the new regulations. But of course, the French Open (May 23 – June 5) is on everyone’s mind after the debacle that led to the Australian Open starting without Novak Djokovic. 

The ATP sent an email with the subject line ‘IMPORTANT: France Vaccination Requirements’ to inform members that they “have been informed by the French Tennis Federation that legislation will soon be passed by the French Government prohibiting non-vaccinated athletes from competing in any sporting event.”

More importantly, the message leaves no hope open to any player having antibodies because of a previous infection if they haven’t received at least one jab. 

“It is currently uncertain whether players who have recently recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed to compete unless they have completed at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine,” they write in this email read by Tennis Majors. “Further clarification from the French Government is required.”

‘Players must be fully vaccinated to be eligible to compete’

Following Djokovic’s deportation from Australia after his presumed exemption for a recent infection was removed, the ATP writes that “non-vaccinated players will be unable to compete at tournaments in France” and that “players will have to be fully vaccinated to be eligible to compete, OR have a medical certificate that exempts them from vaccination due to medical reasons. Please note that no travel or other exemptions will be available.”

Novak Djokovic, current holder of the Coupe des Mousquetaires, would not presumably be included with this eventual exception. France’s Parliament has just voted in favour of a “vaccine pass” that will replace the “health pass” and leave most of public spaces open to vaccinated people only.

“It is a capped form of mandatory vaccination,” the health minister Olivier Véran admitted. France is now suffering a fifth wave of Covid-19 infection, with a strong circulation of the variants alpha and omicron.

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