The Wimbledon Championships, one of tennis’ most prestigious events, has announced that unvaccinated players would be allowed to compete at this year’s event. This means that players like world number one Novak Djokovic would feature at the event. Djokovic would compete at Wimbledon this year as the defending champion for the men’s singles after beating Matteo Berrettini at the finals last July.
The Serbian, who missed out on the Australian Open after being deported, would also not play at the French Open due to his unvaccinated status. France had, some months back, announced that they would not be allowing unvaccinated visitors into their country. So the Wimbledon Championships might be the first Grand Slam he would be playing in this year. He had earlier said that he was ready to skip events rather than forcefully get vaccinated.
According to the Chief Executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Sally Bolton, the UK does not require mandatory vaccination for visitors to be allowed into the country: “The requirements set out by the government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccination, therefore whilst of course, it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry to compete at the Championships this year.”
Bolton also said that the Championships would also try to be more normal this year as there would be no COVID restrictions, unlike last year: “We are planning to return to a normal Championships this year. And so we don’t intend to implement any of the Covid-19 measures that we saw last year in any substantial fashion.” Players would be able to pick their accommodation, and there would be a full crowd present at the venues.
The Wimbledon Championships would hold this summer from 27 June to 10 July.
Written by: Leon Osamor