Anti-vax Novak Djokovic, Granted Covid exemption to participate in the Australian Open
Touchaheart Nigeria reports that after being given Covid exemption, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic will defend his title in the Covid-affected Australian Open.
On Tuesday morning, January 4, the nine-time champion uploaded a photo of himself at an airport, announcing that he has obtained a medical exemption from being vaccinated against Covid and will make the lengthy trek south.
‘I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022 !! ‘ he said on Instagram.
The medical exemption was approved, according to Mail Online, after a ‘rigorous review process’ that followed the country’s Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) criteria.
Tennis Australia does not handle the exemption procedure, which involves two different medical panels from government health regulators. A person must have a ‘acute major medical condition’ to qualify for an exception, according to the rules.
It’s also been reported that government health officials review applications without knowing who submitted them.
A limited number of other players have already arrived in Australia after successfully applying for visas.
Tennis Australia released their Covid-19 vaccination procedures for this year’s event in December, which included the process for stars requesting medical exemptions.
If a medical exemption is found to be genuine, it will be submitted to the Australian Immunisation Register, with the identity of the player seeking the exemption remaining anonymous. Djokovic, on the other hand, has renounced his right to secrecy in this case.
Djokovic will be joined in Melbourne by Grand Slam title rival Melbourne, who recently arrived in Australia and has 20 major tournament victories to Djokovic’s 20.