A leaked email from the WTA to its players has revealed that unvaccinated players could be allowed into Australia for the first Grand Slam next year. Earlier, the Australian Government had said that unvaccinated players would not be given visa into the country for the event. But going by the leaked email, unvaccinated players could be allowed into the event but would have to quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entry. Both sets of players, vaccinated and unvaccinated, would have to be tested with 24 hours of entry into the country.
Australia is one of the countries that enforced strict measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This is why hosting sporting events in the country has been a struggle this year. The Australian Open had to be postponed from January to February as some changes had to be made.
If unvaccinated players are allowed into the event, they would have to observe rules and measures that vaccinated players would not have to worry about. A vaccinated player is one who has received the recommended double dose of any of the approved COVID-19 vaccine. While many players have been vaccinated and are also encouraging their peers to get vaccinated, some players, like Novak Djokovic, has declined to reveal his vaccination status and has been against mandatory vaccination or vaccination as a requirement for playing in an event.
This year, during the Grand Slam in Australia, players had to be subjected to certain conditions that they were not used to. But the leaked WTA email suggested that things would “improve significantly” next year. Tennis Australia, organisers of the Australian Open, revealed that they are “optimistic that we can hold the Australian Open as close to pre-pandemic conditions as possible.” This means that the matches might be played in the presence of fans.