Ministers hold mixed views on guidance for upcoming Australian Open
Government ministers have revealed that tennis stars will need to be double vaccinated to travel and compete at the Australian Open, though some are calling for a change to the guidance.
The Australian Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke and Minister of Health Greg Hunt confirmed earlier this week that all travellers, including tennis stars, will need to be double vaccinated against the virus to be granted visas to visit the country.
Novak Djokovic, who has chosen not to reveal his inoculation status though previously voiced his opposition to vaccines, is therefore in danger of missing out on defending his title at Melbourne Park.
Whilst Hunt said the rules apply regardless of ‘whether you are world number one’, backbencher Matt Canavan says those who have caught the virus should be permitted entry to the Australian Open, suiting Djokovic who had Covid-19 in June 2020.
“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 Canavan said.
However, despite Canavan’s comments, Victorian Australian Medical Association President Dr Roderick McRae revealed exactly why those choosing not to be jabbed should be banned.
“I understand he [Djokovic] had it [coronavirus] but, believe it or not, the immunity from the vaccination is better than the immunity from catching the disease,” he said.
“I think there is an element of standards [here]. It’s important our leaders make these decisions in our interests and it [banning unvaccinated travellers] demonstrates to the community just how important we take this.”
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