big picture: The Times writes that months culminate in “mixed messages from Australian government officials” over whether or not to implement the vaccine mandate.
- The announcement also comes at a time when No. 1 ranked male tennis player Novak Djokovic has refused to disclose whether he has been vaccinated. The nine-time Australian Open champion had said he would await tournament policy before making a decision on whether to participate. Now,
- Tilly said that about 80% of the players had been vaccinated and would play in front of a capacity crowd. Reuters,
Flashback: Melbourne, where the tournament takes place, is considered the “world’s most closed city” with some of the world’s strictest COVID-19 measures.
- Fans were initially allowed to participate in the tournament earlier this year, before 600 players and staff were forced to isolate and the tournament banned fans.
- the spectators were allowed back in After five days of lockdown.
of note: The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam tournament to introduce a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
What are they saying: “All staff working at the Australian Open will need to be vaccinated, but when we’re in a state where more than 90 percent of the population is fully vaccinated – they did a fantastic job with that – it’s the right thing to do, Tilly said, per NYT.
- “(Novak) has said that he sees this as a private matter for him,” Tilly said, per Reuters. “We would love to see Novak here, he knows he has to be vaccinated to play here.”