In the aftermath of the expulsion from Australia of the world number one in tennis, Novak Djokovic, after a legal battle over his vaccination status, and with the approach of major sporting competitions, such as the Six Nations Tournament, the government French clarified that the vaccination pass would not apply only to amateur and professional athletes based in France, but also to foreign athletes who come for competitions, learned on Monday January 17, Agence France-Presse (AFP) from government sources.
This position clarifies remarks made last week by the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, who had hinted that the health bubble in force during the Roland-Garros tournament would make it possible to receive unvaccinated athletes from abroad, at like Djokovic. An athlete who will not be vaccinated (…) will be able to participate in the competition because the protocol, the health bubble of these major sporting events, will allow it”, explained the minister on Franceinfo on January 7.
No more health bubble stricto sensu?
Currently, it is not necessary to be vaccinated to enter France, but the vaccination pass will apply to anyone who enters an establishment open to the public. The next international competitions are the Paris Grand Slam Judo (February 5-6) and the Six Nations Tournament (February 5-March 19). This obligation to be vaccinated may mean that there will no longer be a health bubble stricto sensu around an international competition, but it is not yet completely settled.
Sunday evening, the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), Gilles Moretton, had specified that they “are working in collaboration with the public authorities, who will specify the rules relating to the reception of unvaccinated foreign athletes for our tournament in due course”. Roland-Garros will take place from May 22 to June 5. According to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), 97% of players in the top 100 are vaccinated. On the women’s side, 85% of the world’s top 100 players received two injections, reported the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).