‘If I was a player I’d be getting vaccinated’ – Sports minister talks Australian Open
An Australian government official has urged tennis stars to get vaccinated if they want to have the best possible chance of playing the Australian Open in 2022.
Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, has recently introduced a vaccine mandate for all professional athletes but authorities are yet to explain whether overseas athletes or other Australian states must vaccinate.
Whilst the need for overseas athletes to be vaccinated in order to play at the Australian Open is still being discussed, Victoria sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to leave no room for doubt and get vaccinated to give themselves the best chance of competing.
“If I was an ATP or WTA player, I’d be getting vaccinated,” Pakula told local radio station SEN.
“That will give them the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open with the more minimal restrictions that might be in place for those people.”
Currently Australia’s borders are effectively closed, and Pakula is unsure whether unvaccinated people will be allowed to enter the country by the time of the Australian Open, which starts January 17.
“That’s going to be the subject, I suspect, of discussion at national cabinet and amongst the federal cabinet,” he said.
“As for the rules that might apply around the Australian Open, specifically, we’re in discussions with Tennis Australia and the department of health about that.”
Both the WTA and ATP tours have encouraged players to receive vaccinations, though some stars including Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic have expressed their reservations.
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