Victoria’s Premier says his state will not seek exemptions for unvaccinated tennis players to enter the country ahead of the Australian Open.
His comments on Wednesday came after the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said unvaccinated players would be able to come to Australia provided they complied with hotel quarantine requirements as dictated by the states.
“The same rules apply to everyone, whether you’re a grand slam winner, a prime minister, a business traveller, a student or whoever. Same rules,” Mr Morrison said
“The states will set the rules about the quarantine as they are.”
Mr Morrison’s said exemptions were in place for a reason, but that unvaccinated traveller would still be required to quarantine for two weeks.
“If there is a special exemption that is warranted for an economic reason … that can happen, but you have to follow the health rules in that state,” he said.
“If there’s a no jab, no play policy in Victoria, that’s a matter for them to resolve.”
However, Dan Andrews said “What I want to make very clear is that the state of Victoria will not be applying for any exemptions for unvaccinated players,” he said.
“I’m not applying for any exemptions for any unvaccinated players. So we don’t apply for an exemption, then no exemption will be granted. And then the whole issue is basically resolved.
“I’m not going to actually require people sitting in the grandstand people working at the event to be vaccinated while players aren’t, so we’re not going to be applying for an exemption.”
The decision has cast further confusion on whether men’s world number one Novak Djokovic will be capable to defend his 2020 Australian Open title.
The Serbian star has declined to say whether he has been vaccinated or not.
The Commonwealth’s announcement came after a leaked email to WTA players suggested unvaccinated players would be able to travel to Australia.
World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas has virtually committed to January’s Australian Open, describing any potential limitations imposed on unvaccinated tennis stars, including quarantine, as fair.
However, Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari has no issue and is confirmed to be fully vaccinated by March and will have had her third shot by the time of the Australian Open.
“I think it will not be like this year’s Australian Open, at least I hope so. We hear that things will be different for the vaccinated players, I have been fully vaccinated since March. I will have done the third dose by then!
If the Victorian premier stands by his words, superstars Djokovic, Medvedev and Tsitispas may all stay in Europe as the trio have not revealed their vaccination status, citing medical privacy.