Sports Kelly Slater could be latest denied entry into Australia due to COVID-19 vaccination status
Novak Djokovic denied entry to Australia, has visa canceled
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s chance to play for a 10th Australian Open title was thrown into limbo Thursday when the country denied him entry and canceled his visa because he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules. The top-ranked Djokovic announced on social media Tuesday that he had “exemption permission” and he landed in Australia late Wednesday with a medical exemption from the Victoria state government that was expected to shield him from the strict vaccination regulations in place for this year’s first major tennis tournament.
Surfing legend Kelly Slater could be the next major sportsperson to be denied access to Australia due to COVID-19 vaccination laws.
On the heels of the controversy that led to Novak Djokovic being denied entry into the country to defend his Australian Open title, Slater may not be able to participate in upcoming World Surf League championship events in Victoria and Western Australia.
Slater is yet to reveal his vaccination status, and Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck has cast further doubt over the American's participation
"I reckon he knows the rules," Colbeck said to. "It doesn't matter whether you're a surfer, or a tennis player, a tourist or anyone else, those are the rules - they apply to everyone.
A look at the latest COVID-19 developments in Canada
A look at the latest COVID-19 news in Canada: — Canada's health minister says he expects the country to reach a time in the COVID-19 pandemic when provinces consider implementing a broader vaccine mandate to counter rising cases. Jean-Yves Duclos told a COVID-19 briefing on Friday that such a measure was not currently being contemplated in Canada, but his personal opinion was that the country would get there at some point. Given how fragile the health-care system is in Canada and its aging population, Duclos said he thinks that type of measure will be considered by provinces over the next weeks and months.
"I hope he [Slater] gets vaccinated and I hope he competes. I don't like the chances of him competing in Victoria, and I'd hate to think of what the chances were of him competing in Western Australia."
Both championship events in Australia will take place in April, with Slater required to either reveal he is vaccinated or be approved for a medical exemption before then.
The 11-time world champion has made some controversial remarks regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, notably anwhere he claimed he knew "more about being healthy than 99% of doctors."
Slater, who turns 50 next month, has also stated that he is not anti-vaccine, but rather against mandatory vaccination.
Current world surfing No.1 Gabriel Medina has also refused to disclose his vaccination status.
Djokovic out, but vaccine debate stays in Australian Open .
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — To some, it seemed a cloud had been lifted from the Australian Open. To others, Novak Djokovic still was almost palpably present, the name on everyone's lips on the opening day of the first major tennis tournament of the year. Djokovic left Australia late Sunday when he failed in his legal challenge to overturn the cancellation of his visa due to his lack of a COVID-19 vaccination. His flight from Melbourne was touching down in Dubai early Monday just as the first matches of the tournament began. As the No. 1-ranked male player and the three-time defending champion, Djokovic would have been the marquee attraction of the tournament.