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Unvaccinated tennis stars welcome to Australia for 2022 Australian Open




Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews are at odds as the Australian Open vaccination debate continues.

The prime minister sparked a political outcry on Wednesday, saying unvaccinated tennis stars would be welcomed to Australia for the grand slam season opening in January, provided they remain in quarantine for two weeks.

“We want big events in this country. A lot of jobs depend on it. We want Australia to show the world that we are open,” Morrison told Nine Network.

“If there is a special exemption that is justified for an economic reason, it can happen, but you have to follow the health rules in that state.

“Two weeks of quarantine for unvaccinated people, that’s sensible.”

But hours later, Andrews emphatically ruled out seeking waivers for non-stabbed players.

“What I want to make very clear is that the state of Victoria will not apply for waivers for unvaccinated players,” Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

“I’m not going to demand that people who sit in the stands, people who work at the event, be vaccinated when players are not.

“So we are not going to apply for an exemption. In principle, this solves the problem.”

The Prime Minister said that even if unvaccinated players were granted an exemption to go into quarantine in another state, they would not be allowed to enter Melbourne Park.

The Prime Minister’s claim that unvaccinated players are free to participate in the Open comes after Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke ruled out such a scenario last week.

“I fully supported Secretary Hawke’s position, which I considered to be the federal government’s position and it appears that it is not,” Andrews said.

“The federal government has done a full 180.”

The political deadlock has been caused by Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 and nine-time Australian Open champion, repeatedly refusing to reveal whether he has been vaccinated against COVID-19, after stating last week that he wasn’t sure whether he would be vaccinated in 2022. would return to Melbourne.

The Grand Slam vaccination debate in Australia has been raging since the Victorian government introduced a mandate for professional athletes to get the jab.

But less than three months after its scheduled January 17 start to the richest and biggest event on the annual Australian sports calendar, it remains unclear how that rule will be applied to the Open and overseas travellers.

Hawke said last week: “Our health advice is that when we open the borders, everyone coming to Australia should be double vaccinated…that’s a universal application, not just for tennis players”.

But with the Prime Minister on the lookout, it now looks like unvaccinated players will be free to contest the Open under quarantine requirements.

“The same rules should apply to everyone. If I hadn’t been double vaccinated when I got home from Glasgow I would have been quarantined for two weeks,” Morrison told the Seven Network.

Victoria’s COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar also entered the saga on Wednesday with some stern words.

“The Australian Open is for vaccinated spectators and for vaccinated participants,” he said.

“We only want vaccinated people at these major sporting events.

“We have a phenomenal experience and tradition here to organize and safely host great sporting events.

“We’re not going to change that now and the options are there for people to participate — get vaccinated and make it happen.”




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