Just days after his unvaccinated status cost him a chance to compete in the Australian Open, tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is facing the prospect that he’ll be prohibited from competing in the French Open, which is scheduled for May.
A new French law, passed Sunday, requires “people 16 years and older to have a vaccine certificate to enter public places such as restaurants, cafés, bars and cinemas,” according to ABC News.
France’s Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu told reporters on Monday that the vaccine certificate requirement also applies to sport venues.
“This will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson,” the ministry said in a statement, which continued, “Now, as far as [French Open venue] Roland Garros is concerned, it’s in May. The situation may change between now and then and we hope that it will be more favourable. So we’ll see, but clearly there’s no exemption.”
ABC News provides background:
Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, spent nearly a week in visa limbo in Australia, which has strict COVID-19 and vaccine rules for those entering the country. After a brief legal challenge, a judge ruled Djokovic had to leave the country.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told CNN on Monday that Djokovic might also be banned from competing in April’s Madrid Open.
“The rules are there to comply with and no one is above the rules,” he said.
Deadline adds context:
Spain currently requires visitors to show proof of full vaccination, a recent PCR negative test within 72 hours before arrival or a certificate of having recovered from Covid-19, according to its health ministry.
The two final Grand Slam tournaments of 2022, Wimbledon in late June and the U.S. Open in late August, could also be problematic for Djokovic.
Per ESPN: “England has allowed exemptions from various coronavirus regulations for visiting athletes, if they remain at their accommodation when not competing or training. The U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the US Open, has said it will follow government rules on vaccination status.”