Tennis: Australian Open Loosens COVID Rules

On Monday, Australian Open director Craig Tiley announced that players won’t have to be tested for COVID, and could even play if they have the virus at this year’s tournament.

Tennis: Australian Open Loosens COVID Rules

Facts

  • On Monday, Australian Open director Craig Tiley announced that players won’t have to be tested for COVID, and could even play if they have the virus at this year’s tournament.
  • Tiley noted that the Australian Open’s policy is in line with what’s gone on in the wider community. He called it a “normalised environment” [sic] and compared tennis’s situation with that of cricket.
  • Last week, cricketer Matt Renshaw played for Australia in a five-day test match despite having tested positive for COVID.
  • The Australian Open’s more loose attitude toward COVID stands in contrast to restrictions at the event over the past two years. In 2021, the tournament took place in a “bubble,” where players were required to be vaccinated and tested daily; if they tested positive, they were required to isolate.
  • Last year, nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, wasn’t able to compete in the tournament because he was deported over a disagreement about his vaccination status and the country’s COVID policy.
  • The Australian Open is scheduled to start next week with Djokovic back to compete.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Independent, BBC News, and FOX News.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Tennis Net. Players can rejoice knowing they’ll be able to play the 2022 Australian Open under pre-COVID circumstances. It’s great that after last year’s debacle with Djokovic, the tournament has decided to avoid controversy and just let the players play.
  • Narrative B, as provided by The Age. The COVID crisis is far from over, as a new subvariant is skirting immunity and causing a major wave to roll through Australia. In addition to putting the players’ health at risk, this sets a terrible example for the community as a whole.