Saturday, May 21

Djokovic will not be allowed to participate at Roland Garros without COVID-19 vaccination

The French government has announced that all participants of this year’s Roland Garros will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in what is another headache for tennis star Novak Djokovic, who remains unvaccinated.

This new regulation comes just days after the French government had announced that Djokovic could participate at Roland Garros, and it will apply all people in attendance at the tournament.

An announcement was made by sports minister Roxana Maracineau on Sunday evening, just hours after the French parliament had adopted a law whereby a vaccination passport would be required in a number of social activities, such as attending sports events.

“[The vaccine passport] will be compulsory to enter the places already subject to the passport [such as stadiums, theatres and concert halls] for all spectators, practitioners and professionals, whether they are French or foreigners,” said Maracineanu.

A justified reversal

Just 10 days ago, Maracineau had stated that Djokovic would be able to participate in this year’s Roland Garros, which is set to take place between the end of May and the start of June.

The French sports minister made it clear that France would grant a vaccine exemption to all the competitors in international sports tournaments, which would have cleared the way for the Serbian to compete at Roland Garros.

A new law in place

It is important to bear in mind the fact that, unlike the case in Australia, you do not need a proof of full vaccination to get into France, with a proof of negative test required instead.

However, following the introduction of this new law, which is set to come into place at the end of this week, a vaccination passport is required to go to places such as bars, cinemas, shows or stadiums.

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Three years without going to Australia

The Australian minister for home affairs, Karen Andrews, announced that Djokovic will be unable to obtain an Australian visa for the next three years.

As a result, he will be unable to compete at the Australian Open during that period of time, which is a tournament he has won on nine occasions, more than anyone else in history.

However, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has since left the door open for him to return within that time period.

“There is the opportunity for [a person] to return in the right circumstances, and that will be considered at the time,” said Morrison.

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