Australian Open could approve unvaccinated players

Media playback is not supported on this device Windy, soggy South Africa v Australia 3-1

The Australian Open says it is open to the entry of unvaccinated players if they provide medical evidence of improved levels of protection against illness.

Players who are unvaccinated have been excluded from the event because of infectious disease.

But the leading body in professional tennis, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), has told the Australian Open “not to exclude players entirely”.

World number one Andy Murray, 28, has said his children need vaccinations.

The Australian Open is due to start on Monday, a week after Spanish Open winner Garbine Muguruza caused concern by saying she was not strongly anti-vaccination.

“We understand that medical information is not easily publicised, so we provide players with background information when they apply for a visa so they can confirm that they meet Australia’s requirements,” the Australian Open said in a statement.

“A player application is assessed separately to each visa application.

“While we will not be excluding anyone, we would expect players who have a very high-risk occupation to provide further information to satisfy the Australian Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) or to ASAC-recommended physical fitness testing.”

Residency – which rules say a player must be for five years in order to play – is not required for their entry to Australia, the statement said.

Muguruza’s surprise comments during a news conference at Roland Garros this month, shortly after the news that tennis player Johanna Konta is the first British woman to take the female world number one spot in 15 years, sparked a debate on Britain’s stance on vaccination.

Australian Open officials, however, said there had been no changes in requirements of entrants since these new rules were introduced in 2008.

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