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Unvaccinated Djokovic hoping vaccination rules change before US Open

AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic said that he is hopeful that U.S. authorities will change rules requiring foreign visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in time for him to compete in the US Open. 

“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” Djokovic told reporters, Yahoo Sports reported. He added an exemption was unlikely.

All non-immigrant non-citizens are required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 prior to boarding a plane headed to the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security last extended the rule in April, writing that it “will closely monitor all relevant circumstances, including the effect of these requirements, and may amend or rescind the requirements at any time.”

Public health experts warn that the BA.5 coronavirus variant, which now accounts for the majority of cases in the U.S., is the most contagious yet, and could lead to a rise in cases across the country and the world.

Djokovic defeated Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios in four sets in the Wimbledon final on Sunday, earning his seventh title at the London tournament and 21st Grand Slam title as well. It was Djokovic’s first major title win of this year. 

The 35-year-old tennis star was the center of controversy earlier this year after he was prohibited from participating in the Australian Open due to his unvaccinated status, as local officials implemented a vaccine mandate for athletes to compete in the event. 

Djokovic is among a handful of prominent athletes, including Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who have publicly voiced their skepticism about COVID-19 vaccines and mandates. 

Roland-Garros, the association that hosts the French Open, and Wimbledon allowed Djokovic to compete in their respective tournaments despite his unvaccinated status. 

Tags COVID-19 mandate COVID-19 vaccine England London Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic Tennis unvaccinated US Open Wimbledon Wimbledon

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