Written by By Staff Writer
The Australian Open will not let players travel to Brisbane in the absence of a vaccine for polio or measles, justice minister Michael Keenan has warned.
Minister for Health Jason Clare joined Keenan on ABC Radio’s “Sunrise” program on Wednesday to comment on a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about the quarantine process in Australia.
Both the Australian Open and the Brisbane International have a ban on players who haven’t been vaccinated for polio or measles.
“You don’t like to see cases like this,” Keenan said. “The health and safety of children around the world is our first concern.”
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Wimbledon is not as selective, with players who have received the vaccine routinely allowed to participate in the tournament.
In a statement, the Australian Tennis Association told CNN it works “in close collaboration with the Queensland and New South Wales states on player travel requirements.
“We also work closely with world governing bodies WTA and ITF on player vaccinations.
“Lack of vaccination is not generally a disqualifying factor at Grand Slams — a player who has previously presented with any type of contagious disease in a first round event will normally be allowed to participate in their next event unless they present with another contagious disease.”
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According to the report, the last player to travel without vaccination was American tennis star Andy Roddick in 2007.
The ban against children who haven’t been vaccinated is particularly severe in India, where 25% of children were still not immunized as of 2015.
Polio remains endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.