Australian Open confusion continues as Victoria Premier contradicts Prime Minister
The confusion over whether unvaccinated players will be permitted to compete at the Australian Open has continued after contradictory messages from the Victoria Premier and the Prime Minister.
The Australian PM Scott Morrison has said on Wednesday that unvaccinated players would be free to compete at the Grand Slam providing they undergo a two-week quarantine.
However, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed he has no intention of providing permits for the unvaccinated players to travel.
“On behalf of every vaccinated Victorian who has done the right thing, my government will not be applying for an exemption for any unvaccinated player,” he told reporters.
“If we don’t apply for an exemption, then no exemption will be granted and then the whole issue is basically resolved.”
Australia’s borders have been effectively shut since the beginning of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, though authorities approve travel exemptions for special cases.
Victoria has been Australia’s hardest-hit state, with its capital Melbourne, which will host the Australian Open, locked down six times. The sixth lockdown finished on Friday, but only for fully vaccinated adults.
Victoria’s current stance is a blow for organisers Tennis Australia, who want a strong field for the tournament in January and could be without some of the sport’s biggest stars including world number one Novak Djokovic.
Currently, according to the latest figures and statistics, around 70 per cent of the top 100 men and women tennis players are vaccinated.
More to follow…