Unvaccinated players will apparently be allowed to compete next year Australian Open after all.
A leaked email from the WTA to its Players Council revealed that unvaccinated players still have to endure a 14-day quarantine in a hotel.
The memo asked players to “please keep this information confidential until the government makes an official announcement.”
Just last week, government leaders insisted that world tennis stars had to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in the Open, casting doubt on Novak Djokovic’s participation in the Melbourne Park major.
Djokovic has repeatedly refused to reveal whether he had received a blow, having also previously expressed hope that the vaccine would not become mandatory for players in the ATP Tour.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said last Tuesday that unvaccinated sports stars are unlikely to receive visas, while Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke confirmed on Wednesday that there was no prospect of easing travel rules for incoming tennis players.
“Not at this time. Our health advice is that when we open borders, everyone who comes to Australia will need to be doubly vaccinated, âHawke told ABC Radio.
But it seems the Victorian and Federal governments have both turned around.
“We feel the need to contact all of you to clarify the false and misleading information that has recently been released by other parties about the conditions players will be forced to endure over the next year. Australian Open“, begins the e-mail.
âWe have communicated regularly with Craig (Tiley) and the Tennis Australia team over the past few months and they shared some great news with us during our Players Council call last Friday so you get the facts and not be confused. by the rumors that have been circulated.
âTennis Australia had asked us to wait a few days as they were still working with the government on the details.
âBecause Victoria’s vaccination rate will reach 80% at the end of the week and 90% next month, it has been confirmed that conditions for players at the Australian Open will improve considerably.
The email says fully vaccinated players can arrive in Australia from December 1 and are not required to stay in quarantine or in a training bubble like they did this year.
In addition to unvaccinated players needing to be quarantined, they will be subject to regular COVID-19 testing.
On Monday morning, Victorian-era Sports Minister Martin Pakula said nothing was set in stone, a fact recognized by Tennis Australia.
âWe are working with the Victorian and Federal governments on the conditions for players to Australian Open 2022 and I hope the details will be confirmed soon, âTA said in a statement.
âEveryone has been supported by the easing of restrictions over the past week, as well as by the Premiers’ announcement yesterday that large crowds will be welcome for next year’s events.
“We are optimistic that we can hold the Australian Open as close as possible to pre-pandemic conditions. “
Mr Pakula said he “did not want to put the cart before the horse”.
“We are still talking to federal authorities and that will play out over the next two or three weeks,” he told Melbourne Radio 3AW.
âAnd that will be done in a long time so that all the players know what the requirements are and for those who are not vaccinated to get the vaccine.
“We remain committed with Tennis Australia and the Commonwealth on whether unvaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed into Australia and, if so, under what circumstances.”