A decision on whether unvaccinated players will be allowed to participate in January’s Australian Open is still no closer to being made after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he expected all players arriving in the country “to be double-vaxxed”.
Earlier today, a leaked email to Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) players revealed there would be conditions that would support the participation of unvaccinated players in the first Grand Slam of 2022.
The email stated that unvaccinated players can arrive in Australia any time after December 1, but will need to undergo a mandatory two-week hard hotel quarantine period while also submitting to regular COVID-19 testing.
As it stands, professional athletes wishing to compete in their respective sports must be vaccinated in Victoria as part of the state’s vaccine mandate.
Following the leaked email, the Victorian Premier was asked about the matter.
“You try getting into the US … most of Europe, really, [and] so many different parts of Asia if you haven’t been vaccinated,” Mr Andrews told ABC radio.
“Like, you’re just not getting a visa – why would that be different here?”
Uncertainty for non-vaccinated Australian Open players
Mr Andrews confirmed international players would enter Australia under a work or visitor visa and said he expected those who wish to come to Australia to be vaccinated.
“I don’t think it’s too much to say, if you want one of those visas, and you want to come here, then you need to be double-vaxxed,” Mr Andrews added.
“All the people who are watching the tennis at the Australian Open, they’re going to be double-vaxxed, all the people that work there are going to be double-vaxxed.
“It stands to reason that if you want to get into the country to be part of that tournament, then you should be double-vaxxed as well.”
It remains to be seen whether reigning men’s Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic makes the trip.
Djokovic said last week that he did not know whether he would travel to Australia for the tournament and refused to reveal his vaccination status.
The 2022 Australian Open is scheduled to commence at Melbourne Park on January 17 and will run through to the men’s singles final on January 30.