Djokovic’s beliefs and habits have made headlines all through the pandemic. In April 2020, he mentioned he was opposed to vaccines and that he wouldn’t wish to be required to obtain a shot to be able to journey. Simply months later, he and his spouse tested positive for COVID after he organized and performed in exhibition matches that flouted social distancing suggestions. In October 2021, he mentioned that questions on his vaccination standing had been “inappropriate.”
The match’s defending champion had stunned many Tuesday when he posted on social media that he had been granted an “exemption permission” to journey to Australia. However, as Melbourne’s Age newspaper first reported, it was not clear whether or not Djokovic had introduced enough proof to show his exemption purpose.
Underneath Australian legislation, foreigners touring into the nation should have a visa and be fully vaccinated. Tennis Australia and officers in Victoria, the place Melbourne is situated, made comparable necessities for gamers who needed to take part within the Open with out first enterprise a compulsory 14-day quarantine.
However Australian immunization officers had outlined some temporary vaccine exemptions for its residents, which embrace individuals who have had a PCR-confirmed case of COVID within the final six months. It isn’t clear if these apply to foreigners looking for to enter Australia, however tennis officers had pointed to those exemptions of their resolution to permit Djokovic to take part.
That Djokovic was granted an exemption to play in Melbourne, which endured one in all the longest lockdowns in the world as Australia sought to maintain COVID instances at zero previous to widespread vaccination, prompted a large outcry within the nation.
Tennis and Victorian officers harassed his software had gone by means of a “double blind” overview course of, however giant sections of the Australian public and media railed towards the choice.
“I do not care how good a tennis participant he’s. If he is refusing to get vaccinated, he should not be allowed in,” former Australian Medical Affiliation vice chairman Stephen Parnis wrote on Twitter.
Requested concerning the tennis participant’s exemption at a press convention on Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised reporters Djokovic would want to “present acceptable proof” for his declare that he couldn’t be vaccinated for medical causes.
“We await his presentation and what proof he gives us to assist that,” Morrison said. “If that proof is inadequate, then he will not be handled any totally different to anybody else, and he’ll be on the subsequent airplane dwelling.”
On Wednesday, Morrison’s authorities indicated that they’d have a say on whether or not Djokovic can be allowed into the nation.
“Whereas the Victorian Authorities and Tennis Australia could allow a non-vaccinated participant to compete within the Australian Open, it’s the Commonwealth Authorities that can implement our necessities on the Australian border,” Residence Affairs Minister Karen Andrews mentioned in a statement titled “Australia’s border guidelines apply to everybody.”
“No particular person competing on the Australian Open shall be afforded any particular remedy,” Andrews mentioned.
Hunt, the well being minister, mentioned the foundations had been robust however honest. “Australians have needed to do it robust,” Hunt mentioned, “and Australians in many various states and territories have needed to present their vaccination information in some instances to enter premises and cafés and different issues, and it is not unreasonable to have precisely the identical requirement for all who enter this nation.”