- New Covid-19 restrictions are being put in place by different countries ahead of the 2023 season
- Djokovic remains unvaccinated
- He will, however, play in Australia
New Covid-19 restrictions being put in place by different countries ahead of the 2023 season could affect Novak Djokovic in his bid to play full schedule.
The deportation of the 21-time Grand Slam champion from Australia due to his refusal to receive the Covid-19 vaccine set off a challenging year for him.
When he was denied entry into North America, he lost out on the chance to play in some major tennis competitions, including the US Open and four Masters 1000 competitions.
It was anticipated that Djokovic would be able to play a full schedule in the 2023 calendar year. Still, the most recent Covid-19 travel limitations issued by the US government indicate he may have significant difficulties.
He missed out on the 2022 US Open despite petitions from a Serbian caucus living in the US. The caucus petitioned US President Joe Biden to intervene but he remained mum on the subject.
Eventually, Djokovic told his fans he couldn’t make it for the US Open leading to a peaceful protest at the tournament’s first match.
As it is now, unvaccinated travellers remain prohibited from entering America, and the most recent developments surrounding the coronavirus resurgence in China have a negative impact on the possibility of this law altering.
The abrupt conclusion of Beijing’s zero-Covid policy triggered an increase in instances, prompting the United States to announce new sanctions alongside Italy, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Japan.
The current worry about the transmission of novel variations also makes it unlikely that any plans to relax the current restrictions on unvaccinated passengers will be made.
“All passengers to the United States are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Only limited exceptions apply to this requirement,” the US COVID-19 restrictions state.
As he prepares to travel to America to compete in the Indian Wells and Miami Masters tournaments in the spring, Djokovic may request an exemption since he remains unvaccinated.
Djokovic treated the tennis world to high-octane drama early in January 2022 after a standoff with Australian border officials. He arrived in Melbourne ready for the 2022 Australian Open under a certificate of exemption from Covid-19 vaccination.
However, this was barely two weeks after he tested positive for coronavirus in December 2021. Coupled with a visa mix-up, he was detained before being unceremoniously deported to Serbia.
Australia’s Immigration minister Alex Hawke also issued a three-year ban. But, luck seems on his side as Australian Open director Craig Tiley a while back said the government lifted the ban, and Djokovic was free to play at the 2023 Australian Open.
Following the lifting of the ban, Djokovic said he would gift fans free tickets as he returns to Melbourne in January 2023. Hawke said the 35-year-old would be given a temporary visa to compete at the Australian Open.
With such a tough year, the world No. 5 says it’s hard to forget the tribulations he has had for the past 12 months. They were the most difficult moments of his career.