Sports, Tennis

Unvaccinated players can compete at Australian Open

Published : 25 Oct 2021 08:13 PM | Updated : 27 Oct 2021 11:50 AM

Unvaccinated players will be allowed to compete at the Australian Open but must complete 14 days in hotel quarantine, according to a leaked WTA email Monday, although a government official insisted the matter was not yet settled.

The rules would also likely apply to the men's tour, leaving the door open for world number one Novak Djokovic to defend his title at Melbourne Park in January.

The email to players from the women's governing body was leaked to New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg, who posted it on Twitter, and contradicts officials' earlier statements implying unvaccinated players would not be granted visas.

The email said that players fully inoculated against coronavirus would not have to quarantine or remain in bio-secure bubbles, enjoying "complete freedom of movement".

Unvaccinated players can come to Australia but would have to undergo two weeks' mandatory hotel quarantine and submit to regular testing, it stated.

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"We feel the need to reach out to you all to clear up false and misleading information that has recently been spread by other parties about the conditions the players will be forced to endure at next year's Australian Open," the email read.

"Because Victoria's vaccination rate will hit 80 percent at the end of the week and 90 percent next month, it has been confirmed that conditions for players at the Australian Open will improve significantly."

Vaccinated players could arrive any time after December 1, must have a negative test within 72 hours of departing for Australia and test again within 24 hours of arrival. Otherwise, there will be no restrictions, the email said.

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