/ 20 October 2021

The push to get vaccinated

Image source: AAP
Image source: AAP

Western Australia will not be open to visitors from NSW, Victoria and the ACT this year. Premier Mark McGowan yesterday confirmed the hard border to those from ‘COVID states’ will remain in place into 2022. It’s different for travellers from Queensland – they can enter Western Oz without quarantining from Friday. McGowan said the hope is 80% of the eligible population in his state will be fully vaccinated by Christmas. “People need to understand, we’ll open when the time is right, and it’s safe to do so,” he said yesterday.

Well, McGowan is asking people to do it ASAP. “Don’t wait for an outbreak – it could be too late. The virus will find people who aren’t vaccinated,” he told residents yesterday. The state’s rate for the eligible population has grown to 73.8% for first doses, and 56.5% are fully vaccinated – that puts Western Australia behind the national average. Even so, McGowan says he won’t set a date for border bans to be lifted like Queensland did earlier this week in an effort to push people to do it. Maybe a South Australian-style sausage sizzle is the answer? Over on the east coast, Victoria is cracking on and has reopened its border to travellers from Greater Sydney from today – they will not be required to go into quarantine or have a COVID test to enter the state.

Except it’s a firm ‘whoa’ for unvaccinated international tennis players. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday hinted that they will not be given the green light to compete in next year’s Australian Open tennis grand slam. He flagged that under current plans, it’s unlikely unvaxxed players will be given a visa to enter the country. And if they were, they would have to undergo 2 weeks of quarantine. The glitch in the rules at the moment is that Victoria requires local professional athletes to be vaccinated, but it remains unclear if internationals will face the same requirements. One person who has been called out in all this is world #1 Novak Djokovic. He has refused to disclose his vaccination status and has said he is unsure if he will be defending his title at the Australian Open given COVID restrictions.

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