Unvaccinated tennis players are unlikely to get a visa to travel to Australia and play in the Australian Open, a government official said on Tuesday.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, level on 20 Grand Slam titles with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, declined to reveal his vaccination status in an interview this with Serbian news outlet Blic this week. He said he was unsure if he would defend his Australian Open crown as authorities work out COVID-19 restrictions for the tournament.
Victoria, where the Grand Slam takes place in Melbourne, has introduced a vaccine mandate for professional athletes, although authorities have not clarified what the requirement will be for those coming from abroad.
"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," Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said in a news conference.
"[The virus] doesn't care what your tennis ranking is, or how many Grand Slams you've won. It's completely irrelevant. You need to be vaccinated to keep yourself safe and to keep others safe."
Tennis Australia, which organises the Grand Slam, declined to comment.
The federal government's home affairs department was not able to provide immediate comment.
Australia's borders have been shut to non-residents through the pandemic, although authorities have issued visas to athletes and sports staff for major events, including the last Australian Open in February.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would relax border controls for residents and their overseas-based family members from next month, but international tourists and other visa classes would have to wait longer.