Currently it looks like Novak Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title as the Australian Government have stipulated that no travellers may enter the country unless they can prove they have been fully vaccinated against Covid with both jabs in order to get a visa to enter the country.
They apply to everyone without fear or favour. It doesn't matter whether you are number one in the world or you are anything else, Greg Hunt ,Australia's Health Minister
Anti-vaxxer Djokovic will not reveal if he has been vaccinated, but has said he is considering skipping the Australian Open next year.
The ruling was confirmed on Wednesday by the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, who pointed out it was for the protection of Australians so all players will need to show they can meet the rule if they want to appear in the Melbourne draw.
“You’ll need to be double vaccinated to visit Australia. That’s a universal application, not just to tennis players. I mean that every visitor to Australia will need to be double vaccinated,” Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
“I don’t have a message to Novak. I have a message to everybody that wishes to visit Australia. He’ll need to be double vaccinated.”
US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and world No 4 Alexander Zverev have also expressed personal doubts about the shot and, like the Serbian world number one, have not revealed whether they have received the jab.
Another doubter is Greek world No 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas but last August said he planned to have the shots before the end of the year but to date, that has not been confirmed.
“They apply to everyone without fear or favour. It doesn’t matter whether you are number one in the world or you are anything else,” Hunt added.
But the matter of Djokovic’s participation continues with a member of the Parliament suggesting the rule should be tweaked to allow those individuals who have had Covid already, be granted visas as they have picked up a natural immunity.
“We should change the rules. Those rules are wrong. I’m not saying it should be a rule for Novak, it should be a rule for everybody. If you’ve had Covid and have natural immunity, you’re better off,” Senator Matt Canavan told Nine’s Today Show.
Djokovic tested positive for Covid-19 in June 2020 following his disastrous Adria tour which flouted plenty of the Covid internationally accepted restrictions.
Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, has been locked down since August due to an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant but is beginning to open up this weekend when 70 per cent of the adult population in Victoria is expected to be fully vaccinated.