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Updated on: Friday, January 07, 2022, 05:12 PM IST

Serbian champion Novak Djokovic can play in the French Open even if unvaccinated, says France sports minister

Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a backhand return to Spain's Jaume Munar during their men's singles second round match on day four of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open. | AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a backhand return to Spain's Jaume Munar during their men's singles second round match on day four of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open. | AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

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World no.1 Novak Djokovic will be allowed to compete in the French Open, even if he is not vaccinated against Covid-19, France's sports minister said on Friday. France does not bar unvaccinated people from entering its territory but imposes tougher restrictions than on those who have had the shot.

Roxane Maracineanu, sports minister, said that International Tennis Federation protocols at major events meant an unvaccinated player would be entitled to enter France and participate in Roland Garros, which begins in May

"He would not follow the same organisational arrangements as those who are vaccinated," Maracineanu told FranceInfo radio. "But he will nonetheless be able to compete (at Roland Garros) because the protocols, the health bubble, allows it."

Djokovic, 34, has consistently refused to disclose his vaccination status, while publicly criticising mandatory vaccines. He has not revealed the grounds for the exemption. He has been denied entry in Australia for the first Grand Slam of the year, a claim which he is contesting right now.

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Published on: Friday, January 07, 2022, 05:12 PM IST
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