2022 Australian Open leak details plans for unvaccinated players as Novak Djokovic faces big decision
Victorian government ministers have set the record straight after an email leaked suggesting unvaccinated tennis players could be allowed into the country to play at the Australian Open.
The note to players said Tennis Australia shared “good news” last week after “false and misleading information” regarding COVID-19 vaccine warrants and quarantine conditions.
It is claimed that unvaccinated players will be allowed to play if they are ready to undergo two weeks of strict quarantine before the tournament.
But that plan is at odds with the Victorian government’s “vaccinated economy”, which includes mandates for professional athletes to get vaccinated.
It also comes after Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said last week that “anyone who comes to Australia will need to be double vaccinated.”
Victorian-era Sports Minister Martin Pakula maintains that nothing is set on Monday morning.
âI don’t want to put the cart before the horse,â he told 3AW.
âWe are still in talks with the federal government and that will play out over the next two or three weeks.
âAnd that will be done in a long time so that all the players know what the requirements are and for those who are not vaccinated to get the vaccine.
“We remain committed with Tennis Australia and the Commonwealth on whether unvaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed into Australia and, if so, under what circumstances.”
Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters he expects the decision to be taken out of the hands of the state government and Tennis Australia.
“We will look at the evidence if and when these circumstances happen, but (Hawke) has made it clear that these circumstances (unvaccinated arrivals) are not going to happen,” he said.
âI have no doubts that the conversations the federal government is having will resolve these issues. “
The email to tennis players claiming fully vaccinated players can arrive any time after December 1 provided they have tested negative within 72 hours of departure.
They must be tested within 24 hours of arrival and, if negative, will not need to self-quarantine or live under any restrictions during their stay.
He then said unvaccinated players can also arrive any time after December 1 with a negative test result within 72 hours of departure.
But they are expected to undergo a 14-day hard quarantine period and undergo regular testing.
The rules added via email for close contact are still being finalized, after significant issues for players on flights to Australia earlier this year.
“We ask everyone to keep this information confidential until the government makes an official announcement,” they asked the players.
The ATP and WTA tours have never revealed how many players are vaccinated, but the percentage would not be close to overall rates in Australia or those seen in sports such as the AFL or the NFL and the NBA in the States. -United.
World No.1 and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic remains at the center of the tennis debate.
After speaking out against the vaccine last year, he declined to share his status and recently said he may not be returning to Melbourne for the 2022 tournament.
Djokovic is aiming for a historic 21st Grand Slam title to break free from a three-in-20 tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
This year’s Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in the US Open final, echoed the Serbian line last week.
âI will not say if I am vaccinated or not. But I want to play in Australia, âMedvedev said.
âThe rules are clear: if you are not vaccinated, you will have to quarantine yourself for two weeks. “
Unvaccinated players must now choose between receiving their first and second doses in the coming weeks or skipping the tournament altogether, should the quarantine proposal fail.
Ahead of this year’s Australian Open, which took place before the vaccines were released to the public, players entered managed quarantine which included leaving their rooms for court time.
More than 50 players, however, were sentenced to a hard quarantine when they were found to be close contacts of positive cases on flights to Australia.
Thirty-four bombed in the first round after the unfavorable circumstances, another 10 left in the second round while six others lost in the third round.
American Jennifer Brady, the only player to come out of the fourth round, made it to the women’s final, where she lost to Naomi Osaka.
– with AAP