Djokovic’s beliefs and habits have made headlines all through the pandemic. In April 2020, he stated he was opposed to vaccines and that he wouldn’t wish to be required to obtain a shot with the intention to journey. Simply months later, he and his spouse tested positive for COVID after he organized and performed in exhibition matches that flouted social distancing suggestions. In October 2021, he stated that questions on his vaccination standing have been “inappropriate.”
The event’s defending champion had stunned many Tuesday when he posted on social media that he had been granted an “exemption permission” to journey to Australia. However, as Melbourne’s Age newspaper first reported, it was not clear whether or not Djokovic had introduced enough proof to show his exemption purpose.
Below Australian legislation, foreigners touring into the nation will need to have a visa and be fully vaccinated. Tennis Australia and officers in Victoria, the place Melbourne is positioned, made comparable necessities for gamers who needed to take part within the Open with out first enterprise a compulsory 14-day quarantine.
However Australian immunization officers had outlined some temporary vaccine exemptions for its residents, which embody individuals who have had a PCR-confirmed case of COVID within the final six months. It’s not clear if these apply to foreigners searching for to enter Australia, however tennis officers had pointed to those exemptions of their choice to permit Djokovic to take part.
That Djokovic was granted an exemption to play in Melbourne, which endured considered one of the longest lockdowns in the world as Australia sought to maintain COVID instances at zero previous to widespread vaccination, prompted an enormous outcry within the nation.
Tennis and Victorian officers harassed his utility had gone by means of a “double blind” evaluate course of, however massive sections of the Australian public and media railed in opposition to the choice.
“I do not care how good a tennis participant he’s. If he is refusing to get vaccinated, he should not be allowed in,” former Australian Medical Affiliation vice chairman Stephen Parnis wrote on Twitter.
Requested in regards to the tennis participant’s exemption at a press convention on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison instructed reporters Djokovic would want to “present acceptable proof” for his declare that he couldn’t be vaccinated for medical causes.
“We await his presentation and what proof he offers us to assist that,” Morrison said. “If that proof is inadequate, then he will not be handled any completely different to anybody else, and he’ll be on the following aircraft house.”
On Wednesday, Morrison’s authorities indicated that they’d have a say on whether or not Djokovic could be allowed into the nation.
“Whereas the Victorian Authorities and Tennis Australia could allow a non-vaccinated participant to compete within the Australian Open, it’s the Commonwealth Authorities that can implement our necessities on the Australian border,” House Affairs Minister Karen Andrews stated in a statement titled “Australia’s border guidelines apply to everybody.”
“No particular person competing on the Australian Open can be afforded any particular therapy,” Andrews stated.
Hunt, the well being minister, stated the principles have been robust however truthful. “Australians have needed to do it robust,” Hunt stated, “and Australians in many various states and territories have needed to present their vaccination data in some instances to enter premises and cafés and different issues, and it isn’t unreasonable to have precisely the identical requirement for all who enter this nation.”