Unvaccinated players may be able to compete at Australian Open

Unvaccinated gamers might be allowed to compete on the Australian Open, however should full 14 days in resort quarantine and bear common testing, based on a leaked WTA electronic mail Monday.

The principles would additionally seemingly apply to the lads’s tour, leaving the door open for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to defend his title at Melbourne Park in January.

The e-mail to gamers from the ladies’s governing physique was leaked to New York Occasions tennis author Ben Rothenberg — who posted it on Twitter — and contradicts earlier statements implying unvaccinated gamers wouldn’t be granted visas.

It mentioned gamers absolutely inoculated towards COVID-19 wouldn’t must quarantine or stay in biosecure bubbles and would take pleasure in “full freedom of motion.”

Unvaccinated gamers, nonetheless, must bear two weeks of obligatory resort quarantine and undergo common testing, the e-mail acknowledged.

“We really feel the necessity to attain out to you all to clear up false and deceptive info that has not too long ago been unfold by different events in regards to the circumstances the gamers might be compelled to endure at subsequent yr’s Australian Open,” the e-mail learn.

“As a result of Victoria’s vaccination price will hit 80 p.c on the finish of the week and 90 p.c subsequent month, it has been confirmed that circumstances for gamers on the Australian Open will enhance considerably.”

Vaccinated gamers can arrive any time after Dec. 1, will need to have a unfavorable check inside 72 hours of departing for Australia and check unfavorable once more inside 24 hours of arrival. In any other case, there might be no restrictions, the e-mail mentioned.

Tennis Australia advised AFP it anticipated to challenge a press release later Monday.

Victoria state premier Dan Andrews had mentioned earlier that unvaccinated gamers have been unlikely to get visas, a stance echoed by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

“Each customer to Australia will have to be double vaccinated,” Hawke mentioned.

Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open champion, is one in every of many gamers who’ve refused to share their vaccination standing, casting doubt over whether or not he’ll defend his title.

“I don’t know if I’m going to go to Australia,” he advised Serbian newspaper Blic final week, refusing to say whether or not he was inoculated and calling it “a non-public matter.”

Melbourne is in Victoria state, which on Friday emerged from one of many world’s most extended sequence of COVID-19 lockdowns — lasting over 260 days total — because the pandemic started.

It recorded virtually 1,500 new circumstances and an additional seven deaths prior to now 24 hours, however it’s quickly nearing an 80% vaccination price.

This yr’s Australian Open was hit laborious by the pandemic, with all gamers going via two weeks of quarantine, whereas crowds have been restricted and a five-day snap lockdown was known as whereas the occasion was ongoing.

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