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Leaked email suggests Australian Open may allow unvaccinated players to compete




An apparent decline in Australian Open border entry requirements could allow unvaccinated players to compete in the first tennis major of 2022 after spending 14 days in quarantine.

Last week, senior federal and state government political leaders said players who had not received two doses of a recognized COVID-19 vaccine were unlikely to be granted a visa for the January 17-30 tournament in Melbourne Park.

Early Monday, a leaked e-mail from the WTA to the Players’ Council, reported by the New York Times and Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, suggested that unvaccinated players would likely get a visa, but spend two weeks in isolation in a quarantine hotel to do.

Fully vaccinated players should not have to undergo quarantine.

“We feel the need to reach out to all of you to clear up false and misleading information recently circulated by other parties about the conditions players will face at next year’s Australian Open,” the email read. “We have been in regular communication with … the Tennis Australia team over the past few months and they shared some good news with us during our Players’ Council call last Friday so you know the facts.”

The email said Tennis Australia was still working with the government on the details, but as the state of Victoria was expected to meet a vaccination target of 90 percent of the adult population by next month, “the conditions for the players have been confirmed.” at the Australian Open will improve significantly.”

It said players were expected to be allowed to arrive in Australia from December 1. Tennis Australia would comment later Monday.

Sports minister says details are not final yet

Victoria’s Sports Minister Martin Pakula said the details have not been finalized yet, while state and federal governments are still in talks.

“It will be done well in time so that all players know what the requirements are and that those who have not been vaccinated should get vaccinated,” Pakula told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Monday. “We are still in discussions with Tennis Australia and the Commonwealth on whether unvaccinated aliens will be allowed to enter Australia at all and if so, under what circumstances.”

Australia is preparing to reopen its international borders for the first time in more than 18 months, but it will be a gradual state-to-state process starting next month and will depend on vaccination rates across the country. Fully vaccinated people in Australia will have fewer restrictions than those who are not.

The vaccination debate has been raging in the tennis world since international competition began to resurface after a global shutdown at the start of the pandemic last year.

Some players, including nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, have argued that the decision to get the vaccine should be a personal choice. Others, including Andy Murray, have said it should be made mandatory in the interests of the majority.

At the US Open, which ended on Sept. 12, spectators had to show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend matches, although players didn’t have to stand a chance.

Both the men’s and women’s tours recommend that all players be vaccinated, but have so far not enforced it.

Prior to the Australian Open earlier this year, all players had to be quarantined for two weeks and undergo regular testing under strict Australian regulations on COVID-19 measures.

Most were allowed outside for a limited amount of time to practice, but anyone who tested positive or we considered close contacts of a positive case, which in some cases meant they were simply on the same charter flight, were not allowed to leave their hotel rooms.




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