After a recent change to French health and safety rules, Novak Djokovic risks not being permitted into the country in May to defend his French Open title at Roland Garros. French government officials have now ruled that anybody attending or competing in any future events in France will first have to provide proof of full vaccination.
The announcement was made by French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineau, who said the health and safety pass will apply to everyone over the age of 16. The pass will also apply to anybody wanting to enter public buildings in the country, including theatres, stadiums, and lounges, she explained.
The previous suggestion had been for athletes to be classified as exempt from the country’s vaccination requirements via a “bio-bubble” system. These plans have however now been removed from the table.
During an interview on Monday, French MP Stanislas Guerini described the Serb’s behaviour as “irresponsible”. He said it would make no sense to expect of French citizens to follow one set of rules, and elite foreign athletes to follow another. The effort must be made by everybody, he said.
Djokovic has in the meantime arrived back in Belgrade, Serbia, after travelling home to Australia from Dubai following the cancellation of his by Australian immigration authorities.
The star is expected to remain banned from Australia for a period of 3 years, which is in line with the laws of deportation.
He was welcomed back to Serbia by a group of supporters and journalists. Several Serbian players have spoken out publicly against his deportation.
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