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Unvaccinated players to be barred from Australian Open

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-20 14:42
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SYDNEY - The Australian state of Victoria announced that no athlete who has not been fully vaccinated will be allowed to participate in major events, including the upcoming Australian Open in January 2022.

Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke confirmed the state's ruling during a radio interview with local news outlet ABC News on Wednesday morning.

"The government, in establishing its borders, has said that you'll need to be double vaccinated to visit Australia," said Hawke.

"That's a universal application, not just to tennis players. I mean that every visitor to Australia will need to be double vaccinated."

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has remained firm that exemptions would not be made for anyone.

"[The virus] doesn't care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you've won. It's completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe," he said on Tuesday.

One of the most vocal opponents to player vaccine mandates has been Serbia's World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who has refused to comment on his vaccination status.

"I will not reveal my status, whether I have been vaccinated or not. It is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry," he said to the online edition of Serbian daily Blic.

The ban could put Djokovic's chances of a Grand Slam in jeopardy.

This month, Andrews announced a vaccine mandate for all domestic professional athletes requiring them to have received their first dose by Oct 15 and their second by Nov 26.

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