Australian Open 2023: Organisers to allow Covid-infected and unvaccinated players

Remember the fiasco surrounding COVID restrictions at the 2022 Australian Open? Well, the rules seem even stranger for the 2023 Australian Open. Check out the details here.

Australian Open COVID Entry Requirements 2023 – Quick Rundown

If you cast your mind back 12 months to the 2022 Australian Open, you may remember that one of the biggest stories in sport unfolded. Specifically, we are referencing Novak Djokovic and the infamous visa denial. Having been allowed into the country to compete initially, Djokovic was then forced to fight for his right to be allowed to compete in the 2022 Australian Open. As we now know, his visa was ultimately revoked by the powers that be and he was forced out of the country.

Djokovic prediction

However, fast forward 12 months to 2023 and all of these restrictions that were in place back in 2022 have simply vanished. It really is crazy to think that all of that took place just 12 months ago. Yet it would appear that Djokovic has been welcomed by fans in a way which everyone would have hoped for in 2023. With that said, there will obviously be some scars that may take a while to heal for the nine-time Australian Open champion.

Anyway, our reason for sharing this quick trip down memory lane was to lead into the restrictions for 2023. We will show you here what the restrictions are and how they’ve changed since the Australian Open 2022. So let’s get started now.

No mandatory COVID testing during the tournament

Before we actually jump into what’s allowed at the 2023 Australian Open, let’s share one of the most welcomed changes first. Back in 2022, players had to stay in a bubble, meaning they couldn’t venture outside of their selected bubble during the tournament. This directly affected what they could do off the court, where they stayed, and even who they could hang out with. At the same time, the players must have been constantly paranoid about catching COVID. Why?

It’s not so much the impact of the illness that made them so paranoid, although this is obviously a factor. Instead, it was more the implications that if they tested positive for COVID, they weren’t allowed to compete. In fact, they were forced to withdraw from the event if they produced a positive test during the two-week event. This was, of course, awful for the players that fell victim to this.

Taro Daniel vs Denis Shapovalov

Yet for the 2023 Australian Open, there will be no mandatory testing for players. This is obviously far more convenient for the players. And this previous paranoia has subsequently been removed.

Allowed – to compete having tested positive for COVID

You may have gleaned this from the information shared above, but we’d still like to clarify things. Since mandatory testing was in place in 2022, the intention of this was to remove players who tested positive. Of course, this wasn’t done to deliberately take out players from the event. Instead, it was done to reduce the chances of COVID potentially causing an end to the entire tournament. But now, players can choose to take a COVID test if they feel they may have symptoms.

If they take the test and they ultimately test positive, the players can then make their own choice about competing. Of course, if they are feeling awful and COVID is hitting them hard, they will likely choose to withdraw from the tournament. Yet the key difference here is that the players can then make their own decision about whether to play or not. They are no longer forced to retire from the tournament if the worst comes to fruition.

Allowed – to compete without being vaccinated

You may remember from last year that Australia had some of the toughest immigration rules out there concerning COVID. After all, that’s where the Djokovic story blew up in the first place. But like many other countries around the world, Australia has removed many of their COVID immigration policies. The most important of these restrictions that have been removed relates directly to what prevented Djokovic from competing in 2022.

For 2023, there is no requirement for players to be vaccinated in order to compete at the Australian Open. This adjustment has been done in line with the adaptations in immigration policies for COVID too. And to be perfectly honest, it would seem ludicrous if this requirement wasn’t removed for 2023. After all, if the country allows unvaccinated people to come in and enjoy Australia, why not allow unvaccinated players to compete?

Australian Open

This was obviously a critical change in the rules for guys like Novak Djokovic. We say that because without such a change, he wouldn’t be allowed to play in the Australian Open for the second year running. This would be terrible for him, of course. Yet when assessing the bigger picture, we feel it would be terrible for the sport too.

FAQs – COVID restrictions at 2023 Australian Open

Are there any mask requirements for fans attending the games?

No. There is no mask mandate for fans looking to go and watch the tennis live. Of course, fans can choose to wear masks if they really want. But this isn’t something that will be enforced by the tournament organizers this year.

Do fans need to show proof of vaccination in order to attend?

No. Unlike the previous years, the Australian Open won’t require fans to display proof of vaccination in order to enter the grounds. Therefore, both unvaccinated and vaccinated spectators can enjoy tennis equally.

Do players still need to be in any sort of ‘bubble’ for 2023?

No. The previous bubble that was created for players to stay safe has also been removed for the 2023 Australian Open.

Why have the restrictions been totally relaxed for the 2023 Australian Open?

The rules have been relaxed due to the overall policies within Australia being relaxed surrounding COVID.

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