"If I was a player I'd be getting vaccinated" says Victoria State Sports Minister
A government official in Australia has urged players to get vaccinated if they want to compete at the Australian Open next year.
Australia has been one of the countries imposing the strictest rules regarding the coronavirus pandemic and with the country exciting lockdown a few days ago people are returning to a normal life. The Australian Open also became a frontrunner in the campaign to get players vaccinated due to the strict rules in the country requiring players to get vaccinated if they want to play at the event.
Many tennis players have expressed hesitancy to get vaccinated with the most notable on 2021 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic. Victoria State Sports Minister Martin Pakula said:
“If I was an ATP or WTA player, I’d be getting vaccinated. That will give them the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open with the more minimal restrictions that might be in place for those people.”
The current policy in Australia is that borders are closed for unvaccinated people with a mandatory quarantine in place for any arrivals. Vakula was not able to confirm that borders would be open to unvaccinated people by the time the event begins on January 17th:
“That’s going to be the subject, I suspect, of discussion at national cabinet and amongst the federal cabinet. As for the rules that might apply around the Australian Open, specifically, we’re in discussions with Tennis Australia and the department of health about that.”
As of now, government officials stated that unvaccinated players will not be able to compete at the event. Whether they move on their stance remains to be seen.