Australian authorities have said that any unvaccinated tennis player would not be issued a visa to participate in the to get Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the tour.

The Victoria State of Australia has urged international athletes to get their double vaccine jabs if they want to play in the Australian Open.

The premier of Victoria state Daniel Andrews said that any unvaccinated athletes would not be allowed into the country, let alone Victoria which hosts the upcoming Australian Open in Melbourne.

World number one ranked Novak Djokovic, who is on level terms with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 Grand Slam titles on his name, has declined to reveal his vaccination status again this week.

He said that he was unsure if he would defend his Australian Open title as authorities have charted out Covid-19 restrictions for the tournament.

Earlier on February 12, 2021, in a press conference, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews had said, “I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country and if they did get a visa they’d probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks.”

When asked about Djokovic, Daniel Andrew replied, “I don’t think that the person you indicated (Djokovic) or any other tennis player, let’s not personalize it… or golfer or Formula One driver will even get a visa to get here.”

He added that 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.”

The organizers of the Australian Open Tennis Australia have not yet provided any immediate comment mentioning a strict vaccine mandate.

Victoria has recently introduced a vaccine decree for professional athletes, without clarifying whether it would cover those coming from abroad or other Australian states.

Andrews suggested the mandate did cover international athletes and said there should not be special arrangements for athletes coming to compete at high-profile events.

He said, “On the question of vaccination, no,” adding that, “Professional sport is part of those (items on the) authorized worker list and they have to be double-dose vaccinated.

“This is here for a while…. We’re not going to be essentially encouraging people to not get vaccinated because they reckon they can wait a few months or a few weeks. You can’t wait out coronavirus.”

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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