Novak Djokovic, world number one, who flew to Melbourne this Tuesday after obtaining a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open, will have to justify that he cannot be vaccinated against covid-19. The Australian Interior Minister, Karen Andrews, said so on Wednesday. “While the (regional) Government of Victoria and Tennis Australia may allow an unvaccinated player to compete in the Australian Open, it is the Government of Australia that will enforce our requirements at the Australian border,” Andrews said in a statement.
Djokovic announced on Tuesday that he will defend his Australian Open title in Melbourne, between January 17 and 30, after receiving a medical exemption, as he was not vaccinated against covid. “Anyone who wants to enter Australia must comply with our strict border requirements,” Andrews emphasized, recalling that those who have not received the complete schedule of the covid-19 vaccine must demonstrate to the authorities that they cannot receive this drug for medical reasons to thereby avoid the 14-day quarantines.
Reasons for a medical exemption include: allergic reactions or serious side effects after the first dose or recent heart disease.
Djokovic did not disclose the reasons why he had obtained the exemption. The minister did not clarify, however, what will happen if Djokovic does not comply with the requirements when passing customs, limiting himself to saying that “the quarantines of international travelers in Victoria, including people who have not been vaccinated, are a matter for the Government of Victory”. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was blunt: “We look forward to your presentation and the evidence you give us to back that up,” he told a news conference after chairing a meeting of state leaders on how to deal with record levels of violence. COVID infections in the country.
“If that evidence is insufficient, then you will not be treated differently from anyone else and you will be on the next plane home. There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None at all, “he added.
After the announcement of the tennis player, the regional government of Victoria and Tennis Australia assured that they did not give special treatment to Djokovic, amid great unrest among the inhabitants of Melbourne, the city that accumulates more days under strict isolation during the pandemic, and from the rest of this country where tough measures were implemented to stop the pandemic.
The Australian Open, which in the last edition put tennis players under a two-week quarantine, is held in the midst of a crisis in the oceanic country due to the increase in infections, which passed from almost 212,000 accumulated cases on December 1, to over half a million this week.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.