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Novak Djokovic Has Been Granted An ‘Exemption’ To Play In The Australian Open 2022

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Novak Djokovic Has Been Granted An ‘Exemption’ To Play In The Australian Open 2022

Novak Djokovic has been granted an exemption to fly Down Under to play in this year's Australian Open.

The Grand Slam tennis tournament was meant to have a strict policy that required all players and staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

That cast doubt on whether the Serbian world number one would be let into the country.

Novak has notoriously been coy about whether he has been vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic and declared it was a private matter so he didn't need to tell the public about his stance.

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But now he's revealed he's officially coming for the Australian Open.

Writing on Instagram to wish his nearly 10 million follower a Happy New Year, the tennis player wrote: "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 !!"

According to The Age, Novak isn't the only person who has been granted an exemption for this year's competition.

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Tennis Australia has released a statement confirming the Serbian will be let into the country and will be permitted to play against his vaccinated counterparts.

"Novak Djokovic will compete at the Australian Open and is on his way to Australia," the sports body confirmed.

"Djokovic applied for a medical exemption, which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.

"One of those was the Independent Medical Exemption Review Panel appointed by the Victorian Department of Health.

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"They assessed all applications to see if they met the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) guidelines."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The criteria to be allowed to play at the Australian Open is apparently much higher than for regular unvaccinated people who want to travel to the country.

Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said the approval process is fairly rigorous and no one who could put the safety of players and staff at risk will be permitted.

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"There are two medical panels that assess any application, and they assess it in a blind way. They don't know who the applicant is," Tiley said.

"Against the ATAGI [Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation] guidelines, an exemption gets granted or not. The reason for granting that exemption remains private, between the panel and the applicant."

The Victorian Department of Health has confirmed that only people with 'a genuine medical condition' are eligible to get an exemption and Novak fits that criteria.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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