Last year there was a lot of excitement about Novak Djokovic at the Australia Open. Because the tennis superstar is unvaccinated, he has to leave the country before the tournament starts. Everything is different this time. Even infected professionals are allowed to compete. The organizer announces this.
Players with a corona infection are also allowed to compete at the Australian Open this year - provided they feel physically fit enough to play their matches. It is no longer necessary to report a positive corona test to the organizers of the first Grand Slam tournament in the tennis year, quotes the Australian newspaper "The Age" from Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley.
However, he recommended those who are unwell to stay at home. "We've made it clear to our players and to our 12,000+ staff that we ask that if someone isn't feeling well, they stay home," Tiley said. However, there may be symptom-free players who play their matches despite being infected with the virus.
"The Australian Open will likely look very different from last year as the nation learns to live with Covid-19," wrote The Age. The rules are similar to those of cricket, which is popular in Australia. "It's a normal environment for us and similar to cricket, there may be players who will compete with Corona."
Alex de Minaur welcomed the rules. "I think we've been through a very difficult situation as players and as people for a number of years," the Australian tennis pro said, according to The Age. "I think we're all looking forward to getting back to competing, moving about freely and enjoying life the way it used to be. We're just happy to be back where we were before Covid."
The deputy director of research at the medical Burnet Institute, Michael Toole, worries about the external impact of the rules. The corona virus is still widespread in Australia. "We're in the middle of a wave and I don't think we should send signal after signal to the public that it's all over because it's not," he told The Age.
Tennis is a sport in which it is unlikely that players will infect each other. But he worries about the contact in the changing rooms. In addition, it is negligent to allow players to take part in the tournament who are already infected: "Imagine playing tennis in an open court where it is perhaps 35 degrees warm and you have caught a virus from which we know it affects every organ in the body," Toole said. "I think that's very negligent when it comes to dealing with this person."
Last year there was a big scandal about tennis superstar Novak Djokovic because of the Corona rules. Because Australia required the Covid vaccination as a condition for entry, but Djokovic was not vaccinated, his visa was annulled. However, he had already entered Australia, was housed in a quarantine hotel for days and was deported from the country after several court hearings, even before the Australian Open began.
In addition, an entry ban of three years was imposed on the Serbs. This has now been lifted by the Australian authorities, and Djokovic traveled to Melbourne this Monday without any vaccinations, this time without any problems. He is thus taking part in the fight for his tenth title at the Australian Open. These will take place in Melbourne from January 16th to 29th.