The Australian Open has been caught in a political war of words between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the State of Victoria’s far left premier Daniel Andrews over whether players should or should not be fully vaccinated for the first Grand Slam of 2022 in January.
The Victorian State government said it would have to consider comments by the Prime Minister suggesting unvaccinated tennis players would be allowed to travel for the Open.
Mr Morrison said on Wednesday any unvaccinated players would have to quarantine for 14 days.
“If there is a special exemption that is warranted for an economic reason … that can happen but you have to follow the health rules in that state. Two weeks quarantine for unvaccinated people, that is sensible,” he told Australian TV.
Mr Morrison added “there needs to be a little bit of flexibility so we can live with the virus”.
“We want major events in this country, a lot of jobs depends on it. We want Australia to show to the world that we are open,” he said.
His comments have been reported as contradicting those of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who said last week athletes would need to be double-vaccinated to enter the country.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said the State would have to “consider what the Prime Minister said”.
“The Victorian government was working on the basis that the position of the Immigration Minister was the position of the government,” Mr Foley said.
Question still remain as to the status of world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who has refused to reveal whether he has received a jab.