On Tuesday, Djokovic, the top-ranked tennis player, wrote on Instagram that he had "an exemption permission."
Djokovic is trying to win a record 21st Grand Slam singles title. He has repeatedly refused to disclose if he is currently vaccinated against coronavirus. Unless there are genuine reasons to allow exemptions, all Australian Open players, staff and spectators must be fully vaccinated.
Djokovic was confirmed by Australian Open organizers Tuesday night. He is currently on his way to Australia. Djokovic earlier withdrew his support from the Serbian team for the ATP Cup. It began last weekend in Sydney.
According to the statement, Djokovic applied for a medical exclusion. This was granted after a thorough review that involved two independent medical expert panels. The Independent Medical Exemption Review Panel, which was appointed by the Victorian Department of Health, was one of them. All applications were evaluated to determine if they conformed to the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunization guidelines.
Tennis Australia stated that the process involved the redaction personal information in order to protect the privacy of all applicants. Djokovic wasn't required to make this exemption public.
Craig Tiley, director of the Australian Open tournament, stated that "fair and independent protocols have been established for assessing medical exempt applications which will allow us to ensure Australian Open 202022 is safe for all."
Tiley stated that "central to this process was the fact that the decisions were made independently by medical experts and that each applicant was given due consideration."
James Merlino, the Victoria state deputy premier, stated last month that medical exemptions are "not a loophole to privileged tennis players."
Merlino stated at a news conference, "It's a medical exemption under exceptional circumstances if your acute medical condition is."
In a city that endured months of tight lockdowns during the pandemic, the decision Tuesday will be heavily debated.
Social media quickly became a hub for questions about Djokovic's exemption and the quarantine conditions that he will need to comply with upon arrival in Australia.
All foreign players were required to spend two weeks in quarantine prior to the Australian Open. This forced the first major of the year back to mid-January. Due to rising coronavirus cases, there were strict limits on crowd size and days when fans couldn't enter Melbourne Park.
Djokovic, 34 years old, has won nine of his 20 major titles at Australian Open. Djokovic shares the record for men with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic hasn’t played at the tour level since early December's Davis Cup Finals. He has been practicing in Spain recently. A photo of Djokovic sat on a bag of tennis at an airport was attached to his social media posts announcing that he would be traveling to Australia.