Novak Djokovic: Australian Open vaccine exemption sparks anger 

Novak Djokovic: Australian Open vaccine exemption sparks anger 

Novak Djokovic: Australian Open vaccine exemption sparks anger 

Novak Djokovic will play in the Australian Open after controversially being exempt from the vaccination rules – sparking backlash from Australians.  

Under current rules, all players and staff at the tournament must be vaccinated or have an exemption granted by an expert independent panel. 

Djokovic has not confirmed his vaccination status but last year he said he was “opposed to vaccination.” 

Australia’s PM Scott Morrison said if the player’s evidence was insufficient he would be on the “next plane home.” 

The decision has been met with backlash as many infuriated Australians believe the defending champion has been given special treatment – something the organisers deny. 

Australia is seeing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases after enduring one of the world’s strictest restrictions. 

The country has a whopping 90% of its population (16 and over) fully vaccinated – but some people still cannot travel between states or globally due to the current covid measures. 

‘No special rules for Novak Djokovic’

PM Morrison said Djokovic will need to present evidence upon arrival that he has a genuine medical exemption from vaccination. The Australian Open will begin on 17 January in Melbourne.

“If that evidence is insufficient, then he won’t be treated any differently to anyone else,” the prime minister told reporters. “There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever.”

The comments seemed to differ from what he said on Tuesday when he said the Victoria state government had provided the player with an exemption to enter the country and that officials would act “in accordance with that decision.” 

Many Australians had slammed the government for allowing the rich and famous to do as they please whilst ordinary people remain separate. 

A&E doctor Stephen Parnis tweeted: “I don’t care how good a tennis player he is. If he’s refusing to get vaccinated, he shouldn’t be allowed in.”

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