Australia won't be giving unvaccinated athletes who wish to compete at major sports events any special treatment.
According to reports, Novak Djokovic refused to reveal his vaccination status this week. But if the famed athlete has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, he cannot defend his Australian Open crown at the upcoming event.
Athletes won't receive special treatment
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews revealed that he opposed special arrangements to allow unvaccinated athletes to compete at the Australian Open. The event is scheduled to take place at Melbourne Park in January.
The city of Victoria recently included professional athletes in its vaccine mandate. However, the mandate did not specify whether it also applies to athletes from overseas.
Andrews said that he believes that mandate also applies to athletes entering Australia from other countries. He also said that unvaccinated athletes might not be given a visa to enter Australia.
"I don't think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country and if they did get a visa they'd probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks. I don't think that the person you indicated [Djokovic] or any other tennis player, let's not personalize it ... or golfer or Formula One driver will even get a visa to get here. If I'm wrong I'm sure the federal government will let you know," he said via CNN.
Novak Djokovic refuses to reveal his vaccination status
During a previous interview, Djokovic said that vaccination is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry. The athlete also said that he doesn't want to share personal information because other people tend to take advantage of it.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion also confirmed that he still doesn't know if he will go to Melbourne early next year to compete at the Australian Open, according to the Washington Post.
Even though Djokovic has not confirmed his vaccine status, his fans already have an idea where his head is at when it comes to the jab.
Tennis superstar didn't think vaccines would be required
In May, the tennis superstar said that he hopes the COVID-19 vaccines won't be mandatory for athletes like him.
At the time, the athlete was confident that vaccine mandates wouldn't affect him because he always believed in freedom of choice.
During the same interview at the Serbia Open, Djokovic also said that he would keep his decision to get vaccinated or not private. After all, it's a personal decision, and he doesn't want to be part of the media's attempts to create a game of pro and against vaccines, according to iNews.
Australia still in lockdown due to COVID-19
Victoria has been in lockdown for the past three months due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases brought about by the new Delta variant.
Australia's borders have also been shut down, so non-residents cannot enter the country during the pandemic.
However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the country plans to relax border controls for residents and their relatives residing overseas in the next month or so. Unfortunately, tourists and other visa classes won't still be permitted to enter Australia anytime soon.