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Scott Morrison Weighs In On Novak Djokovic's Australian Open Vaccine Exemption

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Scott Morrison Weighs In On Novak Djokovic's Australian Open Vaccine Exemption

Scott Morrison is pointing the finger directly at the Victorian Government when it comes to Novak Djokovic playing at this year's Australian Open in Melbourne.

Serbian tennis star Djokovic, who has had a fair bit to say about the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the jab itself, was recently granted a vaccine exemption which allows him to skip the mandatory regulations and defend his Aussie Open title.

Novak Djokovic. Credit: Alamy
Novak Djokovic. Credit: Alamy

When news of this exclusive exemption broke, people up and down the country were left fuming - many demanding answers from whoever allowed this to happen.

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When asked about the controversial call, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "Well, that is a matter for the Victorian government.

"They have provided him with an exemption to come to Australia, and so we then act in accordance with that decision."

ScoMo was then pressed on whether he thought it was the right decision to make given Australia's current climate.

"Well, that's how it works," Morrison said.

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"States provide exemptions for people to enter on those basis, and that's been happening for the last two years. So there's no change to that arrangement.

"The Victorian government made their decision on that. And so I'd have to refer to the Victoria Government about their reasons for doing so."

For Djokovic, a bloke who has managed to keep his vaccination status quiet this entire time, his quest for a 10th Australian Open title has received a huge boost as he now jets off Down Under.

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But for the Aussies who have spent months in lockdown and under tight restrictions, particularly those in Melbourne, this news must be frustrating - and understandably so.

As a result, people wasted no time in flocking to social media to have their say on the matter at hand.

It's a complete backflip from previous statements made by various sporting bodies.

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Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley previously declared that anyone wishing to attend that Australian Open must be fully vaccinated unless they have a legitimate reason to be exempt.

That said, since news of Novak's exemption broke, Tiley has appeared on breakfast TV and defended the review process.

"We do everything we possibly can to give everyone an equal and fair opportunity to come into the country," Tiley said.

"We have been saying from the beginning that anyone coming into Australia or coming into the ground in the Melbourne precinct would have to be vaccinated or would have to have a medical exemption approved by a medical practitioner or by a panel.

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"In Australia, we set a first panel... made up of independent doctors, epidemiologists, and designed to assess any vaccination exemption applications. They were blind applicants, in other words, no-one knew who the applicant was.

"[The applications were] reviewed and assessed and then passed on to the second panel, which was set up by the government for further assessment."

Out of the 26 anonymous players and support staff who applied for exemptions, only a "handful" of them were successful.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, Australia, vaccination, Covid-19

Max Sherry
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