Australian Open: unvaccinated players can compete after quarantine – report

The email, obtained by freelance tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg, contradicts a statement made last week by Australia’s Immigration Minister that players would need to be doubly vaccinated to get a visa to compete in the Grand Slam.

A significant proportion of players in the women’s WTA and men’s ATP circuits remain unvaccinated, and world number one men’s Novak Djokovic has refused to disclose his vaccination status.

In the email, the WTA said it wanted to “clear up false and misleading information” about the conditions players would face at the Australian Open.

The WTA said the information came from the organizers of Tennis Australia, who had asked the players to keep it confidential for “a few days” as they were still discussing the details with the government.

Tennis Australia declined to comment on arrangements for unvaccinated players, including quarantine.

“We are optimistic that we can host the Australian Open as close to pre-pandemic conditions as possible,” the governing body said in a statement.

Novak Djokovic will need to be vaccinated to play at the Australian Open (minister)

All players arriving from overseas for the 2021 Australian Open had to undergo two weeks of quarantine, although most were allowed to leave their hotels for training.

Victoria State Sports Minister Martin Pakula said authorities were still deciding whether unvaccinated foreign players would be allowed into the country.

He didn’t expect a decision for a few weeks.

“It’s not settled,” he told 3AW radio.

“We are still in the process of working out with Tennis Australia and the Commonwealth whether unvaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed into Australia and, if so, under what circumstances they will be allowed.”

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said last week there would be no special offers for unvaccinated players to compete in the state, where vaccination is mandatory for athletes, coaches and officials of the professional sport.

Pakula said TA boss Craig Tiley told him the vaccination rate among tennis players was almost 80%.

He confirmed that fully vaccinated players would not have to self-quarantine upon arrival in Australia.

“The only thing we have assured them all is that vaccinated players will be treated the same as any other vaccinated entering the country,” he said.

From November 1, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents and their overseas-based family members arriving in Sydney and Melbourne will no longer need to self-quarantine.

The WTA email said the Australian Open qualifiers, which have been moved to the United Arab Emirates for the 2021 tournament, will take place at Melbourne Park as usual.

The WTA declined to comment.

The Australian Open is scheduled to start on January 17.

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