Unvaccinated Djokovic can participate in Italian Open, says sports minister

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during their final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo

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Feb 17 (Reuters) – Italian Sports Minister Valentina Vezzali has said world number one Novak Djokovic will be allowed to compete at the Italian Open because outdoor events do not require a person be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Djokovic said on Tuesday he was ready to miss Grand Slam tournaments such as the French Open and Wimbledon rather than have a COVID-19 hit after being sent off shortly before the Australian Open in because of his unvaccinated status. Read more

“It’s an outdoor sport and the tighter green pass is not necessary,” Vezzali told Italian newspaper Libero on Thursday.

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“So if Djokovic wants to come and play in Italy, he can do it. Maybe without visiting hotels and restaurants.”

Earlier this month, the Italian government lifted the requirement to wear masks outdoors in most circumstances in response to an improving coronavirus situation. Read more

The Italian Open will take place in Rome from May 2-15. Australian Open champion Rafa Nadal beat Djokovic in last year’s final in Rome.

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Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk Editing by Toby Davis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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