Australia, New Zealand rush to tighten up vaccination laws

Serena Williams is close to returning to the tennis court after giving birth to her first child, and she’s expected to take part in the French Open. On Monday, Serena’s sister Venus Williams withdrew…

Australia, New Zealand rush to tighten up vaccination laws

Serena Williams is close to returning to the tennis court after giving birth to her first child, and she’s expected to take part in the French Open. On Monday, Serena’s sister Venus Williams withdrew from the Australian Open because she’s not registered to compete.

A clause in tournament regulations bars an open event from featuring unvaccinated players. However, for the purposes of determining which players are eligible to compete in a tournament, it’s more important that they have played in it before (or be allowed to do so through some other event like qualifying) than that they are vaccinated. But for the Australian Open and the French Open, unvaccinated players must be allowed in under certain circumstances.

A new bit of lawmaking in Australia and New Zealand is intended to accomplish that purpose, setting a deadline of May 1 for both countries to have their laws tightened up on mandatory vaccination requirements.

Australia, for example, will now have to remove the exemption that allows parents to not vaccinate if they feel that it’s dangerous to their child.

Australia’s Chief medical officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, said he wasn’t surprised to see that “other countries are following Australia’s lead” in this matter.

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