Novak Djokovic has been granted a special vaccine exemption to enter Australia for the Melbourne Open.
After a months-long battle with the government, officials, and event organizers, Novak Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title after receiving a rare exemption from the Covid vaccination.
The world number one revealed his plans to travel to Melbourne ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam, which begins on January 17, in an Instagram post on Tuesday night, stating that he had been granted ‘exemption permission.’
Both the Victorian government and Tennis Australia had previously stated that unvaccinated players would not be allowed, and both had stated that they would not be accepted as recently as November.
Vaccination exemptions are currently only granted in Australia to people who have experienced anaphylaxis as a result of a previous vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccines.
Immunocompromised people may be eligible for an exemption in certain circumstances.
The medical exemption was granted after a ‘rigorous review process’ that followed the country’s Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) guidelines and was approved by Victoria’s health department, according to Australian Open organizers.
Many Australians, who have been told they can’t re-enter their own country unless they’re fully vaccinated – or face two weeks in a strict hotel quarantine – are likely to be outraged by the decision, with many already expressing their displeasure online.
Medical exemptions are granted if the individual has an ‘acute major medical condition,’ according to Australia’s Department of Health.
These conditions may be included in the guidelines:
– Inflammatory cardiomyopathy within the previous three months
– Having major surgery or being admitted to the hospital for treatment of a serious illness.
– A Covid-19 diagnosis, indicating that vaccination will be delayed for six months.
– Any previous serious side effects from a Covid-19 vaccine (Note: Djokovic has not confirmed whether or not he has been vaccinated)
– If the vaccine poses a risk to them or others during vaccination
– Underlying mental or developmental disorders
Medical exemptions are “not a loophole,” according to Victoria’s Deputy Premier James Merlino.
He explained, ‘Medical exemptions are just that.’
‘It’s not a loophole for tennis players with a lot of money.’
‘In exceptional circumstances – if you have acute medical conditions – they are medical exemptions.’
‘When the Premier announced that in order to participate in the Australian Open, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated,’ TA CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said last year.
‘It’s the only way you can guarantee everyone’s safety.’
It is understood by everyone in the game group….
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